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What Catholics Have Done 



With Sketches of The Great Catholic Scientists. 


Eev. martin S. BRENNAN, A.M., 

Rector of the Church of St. Thomas of Aquin, St. Louis, Mo. 
Author of ^'Electricity and its Discoverers.'''' 



Printers to the Holy Apostolic See, 

Copyright, 1887, 
By Benziger Brothe 


The purpose of this little book is, bj showing 
their utter falsity, to refute two wide-spread notions. 
One of these notions is, that when a man devotes 
himself to science he must necessarily cease to be a 
Christian ; and the other, that the Catholic Church 
is hostile to scientific progress. 

IS'othing, certainly, can be more unjust than the 
impression that the pursuit of science is prejudicial 
to a man's piety. A close intimacy with the grand 
designs of the Creator can only enhance our rever- 
ence for His divine beneficence. The more thor- 
oughly we scrutinize the wise and beneficent laws 
governing the cosmos, the more deeply will we be 
impressed with the wisdom and goodness of the 
Almighty Lawgiver. The heart of the true Cath- 
olic scientist is instinctively sending up a constant 
orison to the great White Throne. Gassendi, 
Picard, Mersenne, De Yico, Piazzi, Boscovich, 
Leverrier, Tulasne, Haiiy, Chevreul, and a host of 

2 Preface. 

others, traveled as far along the path of Christian 
perfection as along the way of science. 

How the impression that the Church is hostile to 
science can live among a reading people is truly an 
enigma. The merit of introducing into scientific 
study the inductive or true system belongs to the 
children of the Church. Roger Bacon, Albertus 
Magnus, and Leonardo da Yinci, the first great 
masters of the inductive method, dealt its death- 
blow to the speculative school of Greece. 

The children of the Church were the pioneers of 
every branch of science. The greatest names in 
Astronomy, Mathematics, Mechanics, Electricity, 
Galvanism, Chemistry, Optics, Thermotics, Miner- 
alogy, and Botany are Catholic ones. Yes, every 
branch of modern science owes, not only its origin, 
but the main part of its growth, to Catholic scien- 
tists, so that it can be said with sincerest truth that 
the scepter of Science belongs to the Church. 

Rectory of the Ckukch op 

St. Thomas of Aqutn, St. Louis, Mo., 

March 17, 1887. 



Introduction 5 

Cliap. I. Astronomy 9 

II. Nicolas Copernicus 14 

III. Galileo GalHei 20 

lY. Le Verrier 25 

V. Father Peter Angelo Secchi 30 

VI. Other Catholic Astronomers 35 

VII. Chronology 40 

VIII. Geography 45 

IX. Marco Polo 49 

X. Christopher Columbus 54 

XI. MageUan 61 

XII. Gama and Vespucci 65 

XIII. Other Catholic Discoverers 71 

XIV. Mechanics 77 

XV. Mathematics 82 

XVI. Acoustics 86 

XVII. Optics 91 

XVIII. Thermotics 100 

XIX. Electricity 110 

XX. Galvani and Volta 114 

XXI. Coulomb and Ampere ■ 118 

4 Contents, 


Chap. XXII. Gramme and Plante 124 

XXIII. Other Catholic Electricians 132 

XXrV. Chemistry 137 

XXY. Lavoisier 142 

XXVI. Other Catholic Chemists 148 

XXVII. Mineralogy 155 

XXVIII. Botany.. 162 

XXIX. Physiology. 168 

XXX. Geology 174 

Questions for the Use of Schools 185 

Index of Proper Names 201 

General Index 205 


The learned author of the present work being 
abeady well known to the reading public needs no 
new introduction. His natural diffidence, however, 
forbids his embarking again upon the ocean of current 
literature without the piloting of at least a brief 
presentation of the reasons for which he asks an in- 
dulgent public to accept this second tribute of his 
labor in behalf of truth. Eequested to introduce, not 
the author, but his book, '^What Catholics have 
done for Science/^ we take pleasure in doing so 
briefly, but none the less sincerely. 

We have been told ad nauseam that the Catholic 
Church is the foe of science and a stumbling-block 
on the highway of progress and civilization. Every 
treatise in ponderous tome or tiny pamphlet, every 
public lecture or private debate in which the remot- 
est reference is made to scientific or historic truth, is 
incomplete, is strangely new in fact, without a matter- 
of-course allusion to the persecutions by which the 
Church relentlessly pursues progress. There are to 
be found even among Catholics some who through 
negligence or want of opportunity have received but 
incomplete instruction in their religion, and whose 
surroundings are malarious with an irreligious atmos- 
phere, and who have been led unconsciously to regard 

6 IntrodMcHon. 

as truth these slanders which their better judgment 
should have spurned as patent falsehoods. 

Science in its strict sense is defined as ^^ a body of 
organized knowledge whose phenomena are arranged 
so as to exhibit the reasons or causes by which they 
are influenced in their legitimate connection and in- 
terdependence/'' * In other words, science is a classi- 
fying of facts. Most of what are called sciences are 
but bundles of theories, bound together to be untied 
again by some new discovery. Along the beaten 
track of progress lie the neglected fragments of foun- 
dationless speculations in scientific theories which 
heads deemed learned, upheld as truth before a pliant 
and admiring world. That there has been wonder- 
ful progress in the domain of physical science during 
the later centuries we must acknowledge. So deep 
and fruitful have been the researches, so extensive and 
satisfactory the observations, that in the future every 
object would seem possible of accomplishment. Con- 
gratulating ourselves upon the marvelous advance- 
ment we have made in science, the intoxicating in- 
fluence of success should not close our eyes to the 
obligations we are under to those great minds, whose 
labor and researches have procured for us additional 
treasures of truth in the vast and mysterious empire 
of Nature. As the Catholic Church is the stereo- 
typed opponent of all progress, balking all advance- 
ment which persecuted savants are making in spite 
of her (so says prejudiced public opinion to-day), 
it is desirable as well as pleasurable to view in retro- 

* Encycl. Brit. 

Introduction. 7 

spect the army of eminent men in every branch of 
science^ noting at the same time what Catholics im- 
bued with love for their Church, have done to advance 
the golden chariot. In the galaxy of discoverers and 
inventors we find a single name which irreligious 
scientists as well as obscure historians use as a sort of 
dummy to represent the Churches opposition to the 
advancement of truth. This single name, and there 
is but one — and because of this one instance, vol- 
umes of slanderous vituperation have been hurled 
against the Church — is Galileo Galilei. But for the 
prominence Galileo^s persecution obtained for him, 
there is little doubt the shade of Kepler would have 
obscured him. This horrible persecution and im- 
prisonment, which Galileo himself says was the hap- 
piest time of his life, is as familiar to the average 
AmericpoU child hot-housed in the common schools or 
burnished in the high-schools as the oft-told story of 
Washington and his little hatchet, or of Don Quixote 
and his fierce attack upon the innocent windmill. 
The best refutation of the slander is Galileo^s own de- 
scription of it.* 

When the Church condemns a heresy formally, the 
world is made aware of it. In regard to Galileo it 
was deemed wise to restrain his astronomic preco- 
city so that he might hasten slowly along the stellar 
plane. Kepler, who appeared thirty years before 
Galileo, was condemned, prosecuted, and persecuted 
by the Protestant theological faculty of the university 
of Tiibingen for discovering the elliptical form of the 

* Vide Dublin B&dieio, July 1838; BamUer, Jan. 1852. 

8 Introduction, 

planetary orbits, thus perfecting the Copernican 
system, which erroneously advocated the hypothesis 
of circular orbits. We seldom hear that Kepler fled 
for his life from Protestant Tubingen to the safety 
and protection of the Catholic Jesuits of Gratz — but 
then Kepler was not a Catholic. 

To confound the ignorant slanderers of the Church, 
as well as to edify her devoted children, the present 
book has been written. There are scientific works 
which the professed may delve in with profit and 
delight, but this volume is a lucid and comprehen- 
sive glance — panoramic if you will, but none the less 
satisfactory — into the domain of general science, di- 
recting attention particularly to the labor and suc- 
cess which must be credited to the devoted children 
of that Church which nourished and protected them. 
The treatise is not argumentative; it is purely ex- 
planatory and illustrative ; it seems to say to the 
reader. Behold the fruits! What is to be said of the 
tree that produced them? These are the children. 
What of the Mother that bore them ? There is a 
clear-cut ring, a confident familiarity with the va- 
rious subjects treated, discernible throughout the 
book. In reading, one unconsciously feels that the 
writer forcibly abbreviates. In laying down the book 
we are disposed like an audience at a very interesting 
entertainment, to protest against its brevity, not be- 
cause of any incompleteness, but because of its ab- 
sorbing interest. 

John J. Hekn^essy, 

JRector of St. John's Church. 
Easter Monday, 1887, 
St. Louis, Mo. 

What Catholics 
Have done for Science. 


STEOI^OMY is the greatest and no- 
blest of the sciences. It penetrates the 
depths of ether, ganges our universe, and 
counts its myriad stars. It carries us yet beyond 
the stellar universe, and wafts us to other universes, 
amid the void nebulae where new worlds are just 
forming beneath our gaze. Astronomy studies the 
most complicated movements of the bodies of our 
solar system, measures accurately their dimensions 
and their distances from us, and deduces their 
masses. It defines the ingredients constituting the 
sun, the stars, the comets, and the nebulae. It 
traces the comets in their eccentric wanderings, 
declaring the ones to return no more, and fixing the 
dates of the successive visits of those that do re- 

lo What Catholics have done for Science, 

turn. It discovers the laws which regulate celestial 
movements, and defines the nature of the universal 
force that sustains the worlds. 

It is as good as conceded that the Chaldean shep- 
herds were the first astronomers. Thej made con- 
siderable advancement in practical astronomy. 
They were able to compute the time and magnitude 
of eclipses. They discovered the precession of the 
equinoxes, knew the length of the tropical year, 
and invented the zodiac. 

Hipparchus of Bithynia, who lived a little more 
than a hundred years before Christ, was the great- 
est astronomer of antiquity. He invented plane and 
spherical trigonometry, made a reliable catalogue of 
1081 stars, and left very accurate tables of the ap- 
parent motions of the sun, moon, and planets. 
However, the works of Hipparchus have been en- 
tirely lost, and we only know of him through his 
countryman, Ptolemy, who flourished three centu- 
ries later. 

The Almagest of Ptolemy is a compendium 
of ancient astronomy, and for fourteen centu- 
ries held supreme sway over scientific minds. 
The distinctive features of the old system of the 
world, as laid down in this remarkable book, 
were, that the earth is absolutely immovable in the 

Astronomy, 1 1 

centre of universal space, with the heavenly bodies 
moving around it. 

Astronomy flourished for a time among the 
Arabians, but they adhered closely to the teachings 
of Ptolemy. 

Eegiomontanus, who lived towards the close of 
the fifteenth century, was the greatest astronomer 
Europe had up to that time produced. He was 
appointed bishop of Eatisbon by Pope Sixtus lY. 
Regiomontanus prepared the way for Copernicus, 
of whom he was for a time the tutor. 

All astronomers before Copernicus took the 
wrong road towards the true solution of the prob- 
lem of celestial mechanics. Some traveled farther 
along the path than others, but all journeyed the 
same way. Copernicus, too, traveled quite a dis- 
tance along the well-beaten path of error, but his 
eagle eye at length perceived the absence of the 
usual landmarks of simplicity and symmetry that 
nature never fails to post along the highway of 
truth. Hence, returning to the very beginning, 
be discovered the right road and journeyed a 
considerable distance along it. The great glory of 
Copernicus is to have found out and persevered in 
the right way. 

Copernicus explained very strikingly the differ- 

12 What Catholics have done for Science, 

ence between real and apparent motion, showing 
that the real axial motion of the earth produced an 
apparent revolution of the whole heavens. He 
also placed the sun in its proper position as center 
of our system, classing the earth with the planets, 
all of which are controlled and governed by the su- 
perior force of the great central orb. 

The next important figure in astronomy is a 
gigantic one indeed. Galileo has done more for 
astronomy than any other man. This extraordinary 
personage created the science of dynamics, of 
which astronomy is the most splendid illustration. 
Galileo first applied the telescope to the study of 
the heavens, and thus conferred on astronomic 
science an incalculable advantage. Indeed, it was 
by that wondrous instrument that the modern 
science of astronomy has been created, Galileo's 
discovery of the phases of Yen us and the miniature 
system of Jupiter were irresistible proofs in favor 
of the new system of Copernicus. 

Cassini, to whom the scientific world owes so 
much, determined the periods of the rotation on 
their axes of the sun, Yenus, Mars, and Jupiter. 
He solved the problem of astronomic refraction, 
the effect of which was first recognized by Ptolemy. 

Picard furnished a correct unit for astronomic 

Astronomy, 1 3 

measurements. Astronomy is indebted to Des- 
cartes, the greatest of mathematicians, for the ser- 
vices rendered it by analytical geometry. Piazzi's 
discovery of the first of the asteroids gave a fresh 
impetus to observational astronomy. 

Le Yerrier accomplished the supreme intellec- 
tual feat of this century, in tracking the last of the 
family of planets to his hiding-place on the very 
confines of the system, and gathering him into the 

Spectrum analysis has disclosed to us the physi- 
cal constitution of the sun and stars. Father 
Secchi has been the ablest interpreter of this mar- 
vellous method of analysis. 

In the erection of the noble fabric of modern 
astronomy there certainly have been master- work- 
men not of the Catholic faith ; and if Catholics have 
been its designers and chief builders, many non- 
Catholics, as Herschel, Laplace, and our own Bond, 
have generously helped to give it sightliness and 
symmetry. Is it necessary to say that the faith of 
Copernicus, Galileo, Cassini, Descartes, Picard, 
Piazzi, Le Yerrier, and Secchi has nothing to fear 
from astronomy ? 

14 What Catholics have done for Science. 


jHE father of the modern system of the 
world was born on the 19tli of February, 
1473, at Thorn, in the province of West 
Prussia. In St. John's Catholic church in his 
native town there is a beautiful monument erected 
to his memory ; but his great and imperishable 
monument are the heavens themselves, whose true 
mechanism he discovered. 

He studied at the university of Cracow, where 
he developed a fondness for mathematics, and par- 
ticularly its astronomic branch. To perfect him- 
self in astronomy, he went to Rome in his twenty- 
fifth year, and became a pnpil of Eegiomontanns, at 
that time the most renowned astronomer in the 
world. He received Holy Orders during his stay 
at Rome, and retnrning to his own country, was 
raised to the dignity of canon of the church of 
Franenburg, near the mouth of the Yistula. 

His observatory was the garret of a small farm- 

Nicolas Copernicus, 15 

house, and his instruments of observation were of 
the rudest workmanship. Copernicus, in his pur- 
suit of astronomical knowledge, struggled under 
mountainous difficulties, as the telescope had not 
then been invented, and the law of gravitation and 
those of motion were entirely unknown. He de- 
voted forty weary years of incessant labor to the 
establishment of his grand hypothesis. It w^as not 
until toward the close of his life and at the earnest 
entreaty of his friend. Cardinal Schomberg, that 
Copernicus published his great work "De Revolu- 
tionibus Orbium Coeiestium Libri YI.," which he 
dedicated to Pope Paul III. 

Copernicus had a clear, mathematical mind, and 
acquired a great knowledge of astronomy. He was 
not satisfied with the ancient system of the world. 
To his mind it seemed complicated and unsatisfac- 
tory. It wanted symmetry and simplicity, whereas 
the well-known laws which the Creator had given 
to nature were extremely simple, though grand. 

According to the old system the earth was globu- 
lar and fixed in space, having neither a motion of 
rotation nor one of translation. The heavens were 
spherical and revolved completely around the earth 
once a day. Besides the diurnal motion of the 
whole heavens, the sun had a proper motion among 

1 6 What Catholics have done for Science. 

the stars, and accomplished a complete circuit in a 
year. The planets were also said to have a move- 
ment among the stars, this being sometimes retro- 
grade and sometimes direct; while at times they 
apparently lost all motion and seemed stationary. 
Hipparchus and Ptolemy taught that all heavenly 
motions were necessarily circular, and. to account for 
the loop-like paths of the planets, had to introduce 
a complicated system of eccentrics and epicycles. 
The planets were represented as moving in circles 
around fictitious centres, and these centres, again, 
around the earth. 

The teachings of Copernicus may be reduced to 
two fundamental propositions. One is, that the 
earth makes a complete revolution on its axis every 
day, occasioning an apparent diurnal revolution of 
the heavens. The second is, that the sun, and not 
the earth, is the centre of motion ; and that all 
the planets, of which the earth is the third in the 
order of distance, revolve around the central sun. 

Copernicus illustrates his first proposition by 
pointing out various kinds of apparent motion. 
Sailors on a vessel in smooth water, losing con- 
sciousness of their own motion, imagine themselves 
at rest and the banks and trees moving. The stars 
are at an infinite distance, and to go around the 

Nicolas Copernicus. 17 

earth in so short a space as twenty four hours 
would demand an infinite velocity. It is much 
more reasonable to believe that the small earth 
revolves than that the mighty heavens are impressed 
with this awful rapidity. 

That the apparent annual motion of the sun 
among the stars could naturally flow from the real 
annual revolution of the earth around the sun, 
Copernicus' second proposition, may be easily shown 
to be the result of the laws of relative motion. As 
we are carried eastward by the earth's motion of 
translation, the sun appears to us to move westward 
with an equal velocity. Day. after day the sun ap- 
pears to go westward among the stars, because we 
are moving eastward, until in the lapse of a year, 
the earth having made a complete circuit of the 
heavens, the sun has apparently accomplished a 
complete circuit in the opposite direction. 

The peculiar motions of the planets are also 
easily explained on the Copernican theory. In 
reality, the apparent motion of the fictitious centres 
already alluded to is due to the real motion of the 
planet around the sun, and the apparent motion of 
the planet in the small circle is owing to the real 
motion of translation of the earth. The earth and 
all the other planets move around the sun in the 

1 8 What Catholics have done for Science. 

same direction, from west to east. "When an outer 
planet and the earth are on tlie same side of the 
sun, they move along together in the same direction 
towards the east; but the earth moving more rapid- 
ly than the planet, gives the latter the appearance 
of moving backward or towards the west, or of 
retrograding. Wben the earth passes beyond the 
sun, it will then be travelling in the opposite direc- 
tion to that of the planet, and so the planet will 
seem to move directly onward with a motion equal 
to the combined velocities of the earth and planet. 
If it is an inner planet on our side of the sun, it 
will move faster than we do, and so will glide along 
past us ; but as it is thrown back on the heavens 
like to a star, and will appear to us to be on the 
side of the sun opposite to us, it will seem to go 
back on its path to meet us, or it apparently 
retrogrades. When beyond the sun, on the con- 
trary, it will appear to us to have a direct onward 
motion in its path. In the parts of its orbit where 
a planet moves towards or recedes directly from 
us, it appears stationary. 

The labors of Copernicus in astronomy were 
herculean. Primitive as were his means of obser- 
vation, he arrived at a very accurate conception of 
the size of our solar system and the relative position 


Nicolas Copernicus. 19 

of its members. Assuming the distance from the 
eartli to the sun as unity, Copernicus computed the 
greatest distances of the other planets from the cen- 
tral orb as follows : Mercury, .405 ; Yemis, .730 ; 
Mars, 1.666 ; Jupiter, 4.980 ; Saturn, 8.66. These 
distances as now estimated are : Mercury, .46T ; 
Yenus, .728 ; Mars, 1.666 ; Jupiter, 4.952 ; and 
Saturn, 9.00. His figures, after all, are not so very 
wide of the mark. 

Although Copernicus loved his favorite science 
with the ardor of a devotee, nevertheless he did not 
neglect the duties of his sacred office. It is said 
that he divided his day into three parts, devoting 
one to the calls of his ministry, another to the 
gratuitous medical care of the poor, and the third 
to scientific study. In the history of science there 
is no more beautiful character than Nicolas Co- 

20 What Catholics have done f 07- Science, 

a^aliko i^aliltt. 

]HE Father of Experimental Science" 
flourished during the last third of the 
sixteenth centnrj and the first third of 
the seventeenth. He was a man of extraordinary 
mathematical genius, and the greatest experimental 
philosopher that history knows. Besides his great 
labors in astronomy and other departments of sci- 
ence, he created that branch of physics known as 

There is the very highest authority for the state- 
ment that Galileo was the inventor of the telescope. 
It goes without dispute that he was the first to 
point this wondrous instrument to the heavens. 
The final establishment of the Copernican system is 
due to Galileo and his telescope. In fact, just 
previous to Galileo's discovery of the Jovian system 
the new hypothesis had begun to fade. Copernicus 
and Galileo are the two men to whose labors we 

Galileo Galilei. 2t 

owe the modern science of astronomy. Others 
helped to give it beauty and symmetry, but these 
were the creators of the sciencCo 

The Tuscan optic tube disclosed to the astonished 
eye of Galileo the most wondrous vision that ever 
dawned on the sight of mortal man. The silvery 
face of the moon was distorted into a dark and rag- 
ged surface, in which valleys and mountains were 
easily discernible. The sun's great lustre could no 
longer hide his pitted face. The brilliant disk, that 
had been to all antiquity the symbol of perfection, 
was forced to unmask and disclose to the eye of 
mortal its contour deformed by hideous spots= 
Yenus, the bright star of evening, which to the 
unaided vision is but a luminous point, was en- 
larged into a disk, that at times grew crescent- 
shaped like the young moon. Jupiter was magni- 
fied into a glorious orb with a retinue of moons. 

One of the strongest objections to the young 
hypothesis of Copernicus arose from the absence of 
phases in Yenus. It was urged that, Yenus being 
an inner planet, if it really revolved around the 
sun it should be gibbous like the moon. But 
Galileo's telescope radically dissipated this obstacle 
when it revealed the planet's silvery crescent. The 
discovery of four satellites revolving around Jupiter 

2 2 What Catholics have done fo) Scieiice 

added great strength to tlie new hvpotliesis. For 
here was a miniature of the solar system, fom^ httle 
worlds travelling in separate orbits and controlled 
by the force of a great central orb. 

G-alileo, too, first saw the rings of Saturn. The 
Saturnian system, however, always remained an 
enigma to him. He could not satisfactorily account 
for the phenomenon he saw. When first he turned 
liis telescope on the planet, it presented to him a 
large disk with two arms protruding from the sides. 
Soon all save the dish disappeared. After a long 
time the arms again appeared, and soon assumed a 
crescent shape, and looked as though they had be- 
come handles to the planet, Galileo never solved 
the puzzle. Half a century later Huyghens ex- 
plained the phenomenon by showing that the planet's 
seeming appendages were a pair of rings. These 
rino^s have a motion which at times carries them 
directly into the plane of vision, and, owing to the 
thinness of their rim, are thus rendered invisible. 
Since the time of Galileo the advancement of 
astronomy may be said to have kept pace with the 
improvements in the telescope. 

It is curious how small a mole-hill an unfair ene- 
my can magnify into a mountain. The Catholic 
Church has been accused of persecuting Galileo 

Galileo Galilei. 22^ 

because of liis science. This accusation is untrue, 
and therefore unjust. If anything under heavens 
has ever been worn tlireadbare, it is this affair of 
Galileo's inquisitorial tortures. The darkest stain 
on the name of science is the number of its students, 
or alleged students, that have basely flaunted this 
groundless falsehood. Whewell ^ says that Leibnitz, 
-uizot, Spittler, Eichhorn, Haumer, Ranke, and 
almost all persons who have studied the facts, have 
at last done justice to the Church : " That Galileo 
trifled with authority to which he professed to sub- 
mit, and was punished for obstinate contumacy, not 
for heresy." 

Catholics claim that an oecumenical council pre- 
sided over by the Pope is infallible. They also 
claim that the Pope teaching ex cathedra is in- 
fallible. No Catholic believes that any priest, 
bishop, cardinal, body of cardinals, college or con- 
gregation, is infallible. IsTo pope teaching ex 
cathedra.^ nor oecumenical council, censured Galileo. 
Whewell fairly acquits the Church of persecuting 
science in Galileo's person, or otherwise.^ The 
Congregations of the Index and Inquisition cen- 
sured Galileo, and commanded him to recite for 

^ History of the luduotive Sciences, p. 535„ 
2 Ibid., vol. i., bk. v., ch. iii., sec, 4, 

24 What Catholics have done for Science, 

a certain period weekly the seven penitential psalms. 
Galileo, as a true Catholic, performed his penance. 

" This celebrated event," says the erudite Whew- 
ell, "must be looked upon rather as a question of 
decorum than a struggle in which the interests of 
truth and free inquiry were deeply concerned. 
The general acceptance of the Copernican system 
was no longer a matter of doubt. Several persons 
in the highest positions, including the Pope himself, 
looked upon the doctrine with favorable eyes, and 
had shown their interest in Galileo and his discov- 
eries." Galileo had his weaknesses and sins, but, 
living and dying, professed his unshaken faith in 
the Cliurch, 

Le Verrier. 25 


1-t 'Vtttitt. 

HE discovery of Neptune bj Le Yerrier 
was one of the niost extraordinary 
acliievements of human genins. To this 
Catholic savant of France must be accorded the 
first place among mathematical astronomers. 

The great principle of gravitation governs all the 
matter in the nniverse. Matter attracts in propor- 
tion to its mass, and inversely as the sqoare of its 
distance from the attracted body. Accordingly, 
each planet of our system is not only affected by 
the sun, but also by every other planet. So that, 
in determining the orbit of a planet, the effect 
upon it of all its neighbors must be considered. 
When the orbit of Uranus, the great planet acci- 
dentally discovered by Wilham Herschel in 1Y81, 
was calculated, subject to the perturbations of 
Jupiter and Saturn, the theoretic path did not cor- 
respond with the observed one. There was a very 
marked discrepancy between them. The only way 

26 What Catholics have done for Science, 

in which astronomers could reconcile the matter 
was by supposing the existence of a still undis- 
covered large body. And to find this unknown 
disturber was well understood to be a problem of 
unparalleled difficulty. Professor Airy, at that 
time a great astronomer and afterwards Astronomer 
Royal of Great Britain, pronounced the problem 
hopeless. " If it were certain," he wrote, " that 
there was any extraneous action upon Uranus, I 
doubt much the possibility of determining the 
place of the planet which produced it. I am sure 
it could not be done till the nature of the irregu- 
larity was well determined from several successive 
revolutions." This would be a period of centuries. 

It is one of the most complicated, as it is one of 
the grandest, problems in astronomy, to compute a 
planet's orbit when we know its mass and the 
masses and places of all the disturbing elements. 
But certainly the difficulty of the problem is much 
enhanced when it is required to ascertain the mass 
and place of an unknown planet that produces a 
given amount of irregularity in the movements of 
a known planet. 

In 1845 Arago requested Le Yerrier, a young 
but very distinguished mathematician, to under- 
take the solution of the problem. Le Yerrier ac- 

Le Verrier. 27 

cordinglj studied the planet Uranus thoroughly. 
He computed with the greatest precision its path, 
subject to all the known influences. He compared 
this theoretic with its actual path as observed in 
the heavens. He thus accurately determined the 
nature and amount of its irregularities, and thence 
proceeded to figure out the size and the place of 
a body that would be capable of occasioning these 
perturbations. Success crowned his labors. He 
calculated that the new planet's place in the heavens 
on the 23d of September, 1847, should be in 
longitude 324° 58^, that its appearance should 
be that of an eighth-magnitude star, and that it 
should have a visible disk of three seconds. 

On the evening of September 23d, Dr. Galle of 
the Berlin observatory, by request of Le Yerrier, 
sought for the planet. The Doctor turned one of 
the largest of European telescopes in the direction 
indicated by Le Yerrier, and found the planet 
within one degree of the computed point, or in 
longitude 325° 52.^ It also appeared, according 
to prediction, as a star of the eighth magnitude, 
and having a disk of nearly three seconds. The 
feat was so very brilliant and unusual that it fairly 
astounded the whole of Europe. The highest 
honors were lavished on Le Yerrier. He was im- 

28 What Catholics have done for Science, 

mediately created an officer of the Legion of Honor. 
Indeed France, England, Eussia, Denmark, and 
other countries fairly heaped honors upon him. 
Le Terrier was a very great mathematician, and 
solved many difficult problems in celestial me- 

The attraction of the earth is a feature in the 
formation of the orbit of Mars. Le Yerrier com- 
puted the distance between the earth and the sun 
from the effect of the earth's attraction on the path 
of Mars. He first calculated the mass of the earth 
from its influence on Mars. The place which Mars 
would occupy in the heavens at any time if the 
earth were absent can be computed, and the actual 
place may be found by observation. This varia- 
tion between observation and calculation demands a 
certain mass in the earth. Having the earth's 
mass, Le Yerrier easily computed its distance from 
the sun, there being a certain fixed relation be- 
tween the mass of the earth and its distance from 
the central orb. The sun's parallax is proportioned 
to the cube root of the mass of the earth. 

The planet Mercury has a very eccentric orbit, 
and its proximity to the sun renders its satisfactory 
observation a difficult matter indeed. For these 
two reasons, astronomers have found the weighing 

Le Verrier. 29 

of this planet far from easy. Le Yerrier devised a 
method of determining the planet's weight, from 
the perturbing influence of its gravitation upon the 
earth. He found that the weight of the planet is 
about the fifteenth part of that of the earth. 

Le Terrier's contributions to astronomy were 
of the highest order. Besides being a profound 
astronomer he was a pious Catholic, and was as 
devoted to his crucifix as to his telescope. 

30 What Catholics have done for Science. 

JFatfjtr litter ^ttsrlo c^ttcji* 

ATHER SECCHI, the greatest student 
of the sun that ever lived, was a member 
of the great Society of Jesus, that has 
done so very much for the advancement of science. 
His great work on the sun is a priceless treasure to 
the astronomer. 

Secchi's views on the radiant orb are in epitome 
the following : The sun is composed principally of 
three parts, the nucleus, or body, and two envel- 
opes. The whole mass is in a high state of incan- 
descence, possessing an enormous temperature. 
The body, or interior of the sun, is gaseous, but 
endowed with great viscosity. Yery many of the 
metals known to us, and some entirely unknown 
substances, all enormously heated, compose the sun's 
nucleus, or interior. 

The envelope immediately following the nucleus 
is called the photosphere, and consists of the metals 
found in the body of the sun, raised to a high 

Father' Peter Angela Secchi. 31 

gaseous state. The photosphere is quite extensive, 
its limits being fixed, as in the case of all incandes- 
cent gases, by the force of gravity of the interior 
mass, and the temperature of the outer layer reduced 
by its free radiation into space. 

The outer envelope is called the chromosphere, 
and is very tenuous indeed. The chromosphere is 
chiefly composed of hydrogen, slightly mixed v^ith 
a substance unknown on earth, called helium, and 
another much rarer body, also unknown, and which 
rises to a far greater elevation than the hydrogen. 

The corona, or thin luminous veil surrounding 
the sun to an immense distance, and distinctly visi- 
ble during total eclipses, is a continuation of the 
sun's atmosphere, with which latter even the zodiac- 
al light is, in some as yet inconceivable manner, 

The interior of the sun is in a constant condition 
of the most frightful agitation and turmoil, owing 
to its enormous temperature and the affinity of the 
elements for each other. Great eruptions and ex- 
plosions are continually taking place, by which 
immense volumes of metallic gases are driven up 
through the chromosphere. These metallic gases, 
, especially those of sodium and magnesium, which 
metals have the rarest vapors, are expelled to great 

32 What CatJwlics have done for Science. 

heights, and fall back bj the force of gravity in 
parabolic jets. The returning jets of cooled and 
condensed vapors produce great rifts or caverns in 
the bright photosphere, which appear to us as black 
spots. This is the origin of sun-spots. Sun-spots 
are not found beyond thirty degrees at each side of 
the equator. This band of sixty degrees is, there- 
fore, supposed to be the region of greatest activity 
in the radiant globe. The sun is thought to have 
an internal circulation, or vortical motion, which sets 
from the equator to the poles. The activity of the 
sun's interior is indicated by the apparition of a 
greater or less number of spots. As to number and 
size, the spots have a periodicity of about eleven 
and one-third years. The solar activity increases 
more rapidly than it decreases. It increases during 
four and decreases during seven years. These 
storms in the sun have an electric influence on the 
earth. A sudden and violent outburst in the sun 
produces terrific electric storms on the earth. 

The origin of the sun's heat is due to gravitation. 
The diameter of the sun regularly contracts under 
its own gravity. A contracting body of gas creates 
heat. Secchi places the intensity of the sun's heat 
on its own surface at 6,100,000 degrees Centigrade. 

Father Secchi was a most industrious student of 

Father Peter Angela Secchi. 33 

spectrum analysis, the new chemistry that unfolds 
to us the constituents of the stars. The spectro- 
scope decomposes white light into its component 
parts. Each metal or other element has its peculiar 
spectrum. Every metal when incandescent has a 
characteristic color. For instance, the metal stron- 
tium has a splendid red, sodium a yellow, and 
magnesium a brilliant white light. And each of 
the metals has its well-known place in the spectro- 
scope. So that any student of the spectroscope 
knows where to find the iron line, the sodium and 
other lines. In the spectrum of the sun many of 
the well-known metallic lines are absent, and their 
places occupied by dark lines. Those metals whose 
characteristic lines are missing from the solar 
spectrum are present in the sun and in the sun's 
atmosphere. The light of a metal present in the 
sun is absorbed by the vapor of the same metal in 
the sun's atmosphere, and so the metal's character- 
istic line is eliminated from the solar spectrum and 
replaced by a black line. The stars are suns, and 
this same principle is applicable to them. 

Secchi analyzed the spectra of above six hundred 

fixed stars. He found, in the main, the stars to be 

similarly constituted to our sun, consisting of an 

incandescent nucleus enveloped by an absorptive 


34 What Catholics have done for Science. 

gaseous atmosphere of lower temperature. He 
clar.''"ed the stellar spectra into four types. The 
first type comprises stars that are intensely white, 
such as Sirius and Yega. In the spectra of these 
the hydrogen line is very strong, but the sodium 
and magnesium lines are also visible. These stars 
seem to be very highly heated. The second type 
comprises yellow stars, such as Arcturus and 
Capella, whose spectra closely resemble that of our 

The third type is composed of the bright red 
stars, as illustrated in Betelgueze and Antares. 
The hydrogen lines are absent from these spectra. 
The fourth type is composed of the telescopic red 
stars. Of the stars examined by Secchi, 164 are of 
the first, 140 of the second, and the remainder of 
the third and fourth types. 

On February 26, 1878, closed the earthly life of 
one of the most useful astronomers and physicists 
that ever lived. 

Other Catholic Astronomers, 35 


[BBOT GASSEISTDI, '' the greatest philos- 
opher among scholars and the greatest 
scholar among philosophers," who flour- 
ished in the lirst half of the seventeenth century, 
was an illustrious astronomer. Gassendi was the 
first to endeavor to bring the eccentric comet within 
the reach of science. He demonstrated that the 
cometary bodies were without our atmosphere, and 
that they really presaged no evil to mankind, 

Gassendi was the first to observe the transit of a 
planet across the sun's disk. Mercury was chosen, 
and the method he adopted for viewing its passage 
was primitive indeed, and yet most ingenious. The 
rays from the sun were permitted to enter a dark- 
ened room through a hole in a shutter. A lens 
formed an image of the sun on a white screen. 
"With the aid of an assistant in a room beneath and 
to whom the abbot signalled the beginning of the 

36 IVJiat Catholics have done for Science. 

transit by stamping on tlie floor, the time of the 
planet's appearance and the snn's altitude were 
accnratelv noted. 

Piazzi, the discoverer of Ceres and the preparer 
of the first great standard catalogue of stars, was a 
Theatine monk. Piazzi was one of the most labori- 
ous asti'onomers that ever lived, and his catalogne 
of 7646 stars has been the basis of all star catalogues 
published since. He made valuable corrections in 
regard to the pai'allaxes of some of the heavenly 
bodies, the obliquity of the Ecliptic, and the aber- 
ration of light. 

His search for Ceres, the first-discovered asteroid, 
has scarcely a parallel in astronomic industry. Ow- 
ing to the gi'eat distance between the orbits of ]jlars 
and Jupiter, it was thought that a planet should 
tenant the intervening void. The distances between 
the orbits of all the other planets seemed to be regu- 
lated by a certain order. The only apparent exce]> 
tion was the space dividing Mars from Jupiter. 
Astronomers began looking for the supposed lost 
planet, and Piazzi among others. He resolved to 
examine all the stars in the whole field of the 
heavens bordering on the Ecliptic. He examined 
a group of fifty stars at a time. He examined each 
group four times in succession before undertaking 


Other Catholic Astronomers, 37 

a new group. The thirteenth star in the one hun- 
dred and fifty-ninth group was found to be a 
small planet or planetoid. It was in the constella- 
tion Taurus, in the pure skies of Palermo, the 
keen-ejed monk saw the first-born of the asteroidSj 
no bigger tlian an eighth-magnitude star. The 
finding of this little body had a most wonderful 
influence on the progress of astronomy. 

Jean Picard, a French ecclesiastic, was one of the 
original members and the first president of the 
Academy of Sciences. The greatest service he did 
for astronomy was to make the first accurate meas- 
urement of a degree of the meridian. It was this 
measure of Picard's that enabled K'ewton to estab- 
lish the great principle of universal gravitation- 
When TsTewton. first conceived the idea of the 
earth's gravitation, he endeavored to see if its influ- 
ence extended to the moon. He found that, owing 
to the moon's motion around the earth, she fell 
from a tangent through a space of 13 feet every 
minute. He knew that a body at the earth's sur- 
face fell IOyV feet in one second. Supposing the 
attractive force of the earth to be inversely as the 
square of the distance, he calculated that a body at 
the moon's distance under the earth's gravity should 
fall 15 feet in a minute. Unable to reconcile this 

8 What Catholics have do7ie for Science, 

discrepancy, he gave up for many years his law of 
gravitation. But when Picard, in 1670, found that 
the precise measure of a degree was much larger 
than the common estimate, and, by consequence, 
the magnitude of the earth much greater than 
hitherto considered, the distance to the moon, 
which was based on the earth's radius., had also to 
be lengthened. When J^ewton used Picard's meas- 
ure, he found his law of gravitation to be abso- 
lutely established at the distance of the moon. 
Picard was the lirst to draw the attention of 
astronomers to the phenomena of nutation and 

The Italian Jesuit, De Yico, was a very great 
astronomer. He calculated the time of the re- 
turn of Halley's comet, which was looked for 
in 1835; and was the first to see it on August 
6th of that year. He was an indefatigable ob- 
server, and is credited with the discovery of eight 

Domenico Cassini was in his own time the most 
renowned astronomer in the world. He calculated 
the periods of the revolution of the sun, Yenus, 
Mars, and Jupiter on their axes. His tables of the 
sun, published in 1656, were very accui'ate. Cas- 

Other Catholic Astronomers. 39 

sini was the discoverer of the first, second, third, 
and fifth satellites of Saturn. 

Certainly, Catholic Italy rejoices in her full share 
of renowned astronomical names. To those already 
mentioned must be joined the great ones of Bosco- 
vich, Maraldi, Castelli, and Bianchini. 

40 What Catholics have done for Science, 


jUR preseDt almost perfect system of 
cLronology is the fruit of very great 
labor and struggle. Cbrouoiogy is the 
science of regularly dividing time. To measure 
time, as well as weight and distance, we must have 
a standard. This standard should be invariable ; 
if possible, al3Solutely fixed. For the purposes of 
civil life, two units for the measurement of time 
have been forced upon us, the solar day and the 
tropical year. These are natural units of time, 
and all the troubles of the calendar have sprung 
from their incommensurability. 

The sidereal day is the time it takes the earth to 
revolve on its axis relatively to a fixed star. It is 
the absolute length of a revolution, and therefore 
the actual measure of a day, and consists of 23 
hours and 56 minutes. A solar day is the interval 
of time which elapses between two successive pas- 

Chronology. 41 

sages of the sun over the meridian. The solar day 
is about four minutes longer than the sidereal. 
The difference is occasioned by the earth's motion 
of translation round the sun. Whilst the earth is 
turning on its axis, it is pushing on in its orbit at 
the rate of 19 miles a second. If the earth had 
remained fixed in space, the sun and stars would 
reappear at the same time in the meridian; and the 
sidereal would have been of the same length as the 
solar day. But the earth is not fixed ; she has trav- 
elled onward to another point. The star, because it 
is situated at an infinite distance, is again found, 
after a complete rotation, in the meridian ; but the 
sun, its distance being appreciable, is thrown a lit- 
tle out of position, and the earth must turn through 
a space of four minutes to bring the sun to the 
meridian. The mean solar day is the standard 
unit, and it is invariable. It has not varied the 
hundredth of a second within historic times. 

The length of the mean tropical year, however, 
varies slightly. It is now 4.21 seconds shorter 
than in the time of Hipparchns. This change is 
occasioned by the path of the sun being oblique to 
the equator; and the consequent tendency of the 
sun to draw the equator after it causes the ecliptic 
and equator to meet a little earlier each year. This 

42 What Catholics have done for Science. 

variation, however, is so very ti-ivial. that in civil 
service reckoning it prodnces no practical mischief. 
The sidereal year is the time the earth requires to 
make a complete revolution of its orbit relatively 
to the fixed stars. The tropical or solar year is the 
time the earth occupies in making a revolution of 
its orbit relatively to- the sun. As the recurrence 
of the seasons depends on the tropical year, it is 
the one that is used for the purpose of civil reckon- 
ing. Its length is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 
and 46 seconds. Thus the units are sufficiently in- 
variable ; the trouble, as already stated, arises from 
their incommensurability. Everything would be 
right if there were an exact number of days in a 

The precise length of the tropical year is 365 
days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. The 
nearest approach to this, in anything like round 
numbers and a decent fraction, is 365^. To get 
the proper number of days into the year before the 
time of Julius C^sar was a decided failure. About 
his time the confusion was really inextricable. In 
46 B.C. Cfesar brought over from Alexandria So- 
sigenes, an astronomer at that time greatly distin- 
guished, and he figured out the Julian calendar. 
To begin properly, it was found necessary to assign 


Chronology. ' 43 

to the previous year 455 days, which circumstance 
won for it the name of " the year of confusion." 
The Juhan rule assigned to the ordinary year 365 
days, and made every fourth year a leap-year, with 
366 days. This was an over-correction, as the year 
is less than 365 J days by 11 minutes and 14 
seconds, which in 900 years would amount to an 
error of 7 days. 

In 1414 it first began to be mooted that the 
equinox was creeping away from March 21st. In 
the sixteenth century the equinoxes had gained ten 
days, and occurred on the 11th instead of the 21st 
of March. This was confusing the time of cele- 
brating Easter, which the Council of Nice, in 325, 
decreed should be the Sunday after the full- moon 
following the vernal equinox. And the equinox in 
325 was on the 21st of March. The Church could 
not brook in silence this confusion of her feasts. 
In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII. resolved to look into 
the matter. He appointed Christopher Clavius, a 
German, Peter Chacon, a Spaniard, and Ignatius 
Danti, an Italian, to regulate the calendar, 

John Herschel, the great astronomer, speaks 
with admiration of the neatness, accuracy, and 
wisdom of the Gregorian calendar. Pope Gregory 
directed that the 5th of October, 1582, should be 

44 What Catholics have done for Science. 

called the 15tli of October, and tliiis threw away the 
ten days that had crept into the year. 

The Gregorian rule is as follows : The years are 
counted from the Birth of Christ. Every year 
whose number is not divisible by 4 without a re- 
mainder consists of 365 days ; every year which 
is divisible by 4, but not by 100, consists of 
366 days ; every year divisible by 100, but not by 
400, consists again of 365 days; and every year 
divisible by 400, again of 366 days. The actual 
value of the solar year, reduced to a decimal frac- 
tion, is 365.24224 ; and of the Gregorian, 365.2425 ; 
so that the error of the Gregorian rule on ten thou- 
sand of the present tropical years is 2.6 days. 
This is an error of less than a day in three thou- 
sand years. This is indeed sufficiently accurate for 
all civil reckoning. Thus did the Church confer 
on civilized man one of the greatest and most uni- 
versal blessings of practical science. 

Geog-raphy. 45 


EOGRAPHY is oiie of the oldest as it is 
one of the best developed of the sciences. 
It has cost immense labor to bring it to 
its present advanced stage of excellence. ]^To 
honest geographer will dispute the grand achieve- 
ments of Catholics in this field of science. 

The ancients, for the most part, considered the 
earth a vast circular plain completely circumscribed 
by ocean. 

Job, besides his extraordinarily correct astronomi- 
cal views, gives interesting geographical details 
concerning parts of Asia and Africa. The ancient 
Phoenicians, Chinese, Egyptians, and Carthaginians 
had more or less extensive knowledge of neighbor- 
ing territories. 

The expeditions of Alexander the Great added 
materially to the geographical acquisitions of his 
time. Eratosthenes, a native of Cyrene and born 
in the year 276 b.c, was the first real geogra- 

46 What Catholics have done for Science. 

pher, in a scientific sense, being the first to employ 
latitude and longitude. After his time geographers 
grew in number with great rapidity. Strabo. a na- 
tive of Asia ;^[inor, born about 5^1: b.c, is highly 
praised as a geographer. Pliny has left us a vo- 
luminous but indifierent treatise on this subject. 
Claudius Ptolemy's great work was the standard 
geography for centuries. 

The great Catholic geographers began to loom 
up early in the sixth century. Cosmas Indicop- 
leustes of Alexandria, towards the middle of the 
sixth century, wrote a geography which became 
almost the rival of Ptolemy's for popular favor. 
Car pin o, Rubmquis, and Ascelin, Catholic mission- 
aries, were greatly renowned for their travels and 
explorations, and were the worthy forerunners of 
Marco Polo, the celebrated Venetian traveler. He 
explored almost the whole of Asia. 

The Catholic Church was continually sending 
her missionaries into Asia and Africa for the pur- 
pose of conversion. These devoted sons of Holy 
Church gathered a mighty treasure of valuable in- 
formation concerning the lands through which they 

The Portuguese voyagers pushed the limits of 
geographical knowledge quite considei-ably, es- 

Geography. 47 

peciallj on the African coasts. Then the great 
achievements of Cohrinbns and his lieutenants in 
the ]^ew World break upon the view. Yasco da 
Gama, finding the maritime passage to India; Ma- 
gellan, Yespucci, and others follow in the proces- 
sion of discovery. 

Among the famous works of Catholic authors 
on geography are a treatise by Albertus Magnus, 
Cardinal Alliacus' Picture of the World, the Plani- 
spherium of Sanuto, the Sea-chart of Paul Tos- 
canelli, Map of the World by La Cosa, Martin 
Behaim's famous World -Apple, and the Yariation- 
chart of Santa Cruz. 

In large works on Trigonometry, under the head 
of I^Tavigation, are found the different methods of 
determining a ship's course. Plane, Traverse, Par- 
allel, Middle-Latitude and Mercator's sailing are 
successively considered. To compute a ship's 
longitude when she does not sail along a parallel 
of Latitude but upon any oblique rhomb, there are 
two methods — one called Middle-Latitude sailing 
and the other Mercator's sailing. The first method 
is limited in its application, and is slightly inaccu- 
rate. The second is nnlimited, and absolutely true. 
This great geographer, Gerard Mercator, was a 
Catholic, and a student of the University of Louvain. 

48 What Catholics have do?ie fo7^ Scie^ice. 

As it is admitted to be an easy matter to add 
to inventioBs, similarly the discovery of a country 
is of miicli more merit than its subsequent explora- 
tion. We do not denj^ that there have been great 
travelers and voyagers, such as Humboldt and 
Cook, who were not Catholics ; but what we claim 
is our just meed of praise. Catholics have been 
the great pioneers of discovery. In gathering the 
materials for the edifice of geography, Catholics 
have done the great bulk of the work. 

Ma7^co Polo, 


3Warco J|oId* 

E have inherited almost the whole of 
the science of geography from Catholic 
sources. The Church, her great heart 
throbbing with an incessant love for the souls of 
men, sent forth, in every age, her apostles to carry 
the Gospel to the different nations. These illustri- 
ous missionaries, in their unfaltering zeal, visited all 
the countries of the habitable globe, of which they 
brought back accurate and minute descriptions. 
The manifold accounts were collated and reduced 
to a system, and so gave us the science of geog- 

Among the names of those whose labors added 
to our knowledge of the earth's surface, the most 
illustrious is that of Marco Polo. We have the 
testimony of Alexander Humboldt that he was 
the greatest traveler of any age. He was a true 
and honored son of holy Mother Church. He 

50 What Catholics have done for Science. 

sought and obtained the benediction of Gregory X. 
at the very beginning of his travels. 

Marco Polo was born in A^enice, of Dalmatian 
parents, about the year 1250. He began his jour- 
neys in company with his father and uncle, success- 
ful merchants enjoying an extensive trade in the 

The two merchants, together with young Marco, 
set out from Venice in 1271, and after many mis- 
haps and by devious courses reached Pekin, bright 
Cathay's famous capital, in 1275. Here Marco was 
introduced to the renowned Kublai Khan, the Tar- 
tar conqueror of China. The Khan was at once 
favorably impressed with the bright intelligence 
and courtly dignity of young Polo. At first 
Kublai appointed him to an office about his person, 
and afterwards dispatched him on important com- 
missions to vassal chiefs. Marco Polo executed 
these diplomacies with admirable prudence, loyalty, 
and ability. He rose to great favor with the 

His first visit as an envoy was to the court of 
Anam, in 1277. While here he acquired a great 
knowledge of the topography of Thibet, Yunnan, 
Bengal, Mien, and the south of China. He also 
studied very minutely the manners and customs of 

Marco Polo. 5 1 

the peoples of these provinces. He showed him- 
self a wonderful adept in acquiring the languages 
and appreciating the characteristics of the Mongo- 
lian races. 

He was next sent as envoy to the Song dynasty, 
with the view of taking an inventory of its archives. 
Some time later he was appointed governor of Yang- 
tchow in the province of Kiang-si, in Eastern China, 
a post he held for three years. He accompanied a 
Mongol army in an invasion of the kingdom of 
Pegu, and afterwards accepted an embassy to 
Tsiampa, the southern part of Cochin-China. 

He spent twenty-four years in Asia. In that 
time he traveled over Central Asia, China, and 
India, and brought back admirable accounts of a 
territory containing more than half the people of 
the entire earth. He traveled over many places 
never before trodden by Europeans, and visited 
Japan, whose nqy^ existence was not at that time 
even suspected in Europe. 

Among his other exploits he crossed the rainless 
Gobi ; traveled over the great salt desert of Khoras- 
san ; visited the capital of Southern China, Kinsai, 
famous for its boundless parks and gardens, and 
passed some time at the Persian capital, Teheran. 

He set out for home, Venice, in 1291, which he 

52 What Catholics have done f 01^ Science. 

reached in 1295, sailing through tlie Chinese Sea 
and Indian Ocean. 

He amassed quite a fortune bv legitimate trading 
during his sojourn in the East. On his return he 
greatly astonished his neighbors by displaying to 
them some of the rich and gorgeous costumes worn 
by the Orientals. 

Soon after his return home he took part in a war 
between Yenice and Genoa, the great maritime 
powers of the period. He was made a prisoner off 
the coast of Dalmatia, and immured in jail in 
Genoa for almost five years. During his captivity 
he narrated his travels from mem.oranda to his friend 
and fellow-prisoner, Rustigielo of Pisa. He after- 
wards revised with great care the manuscript of 
Rnstigielo. The most correct edition of the great 
and admirable work of Marco Polo is the '' Milione," 
edited by Count Baldelli. 

On his return to Yenice, after being restored to 
liberty, he was appointed a member of the Grand 
Council, and died in 1323. 

His work is so full of marvels that it reads like 
a fairy tale or an Arabian legend. It was at first 
thought by his countrymen to be the pure creation 
of a fertile fancy, but his statements were after- 
wards verified in all the particulars of moment. 

Marco Polo. 53 

As a narrative of travels it is incomparable for 
minuteness, research, and accuracy. It gave a won- 
derful impetus to travel and exploration, and created 
an unbounded desire for discovery. It is said that 
it was the reading of Marco Polo's '^ Milione" that 
first stimulated Columbus, and sent him forth to 
seek and find a new world. It was certainly the 
knowledge imparted by the "Milione" that ani- 
mated the Portuguese to seek Hindustan by way of 
the Cape of Good Hope. 

54 What Catholics have done for Science. 


illustrious of discoverers, died in poverty 
at Yalladolid, Spain, May 20, 1506. The 
reliable accounts of his earlj life are meagre. It 
is supposed that he was born near Genoa, Italy, 
some time between 1435 and 1446. 

He spent a short portion of his boyhood at the 
famous university of Pavia, where among other 
branches of science he studied astronomy and navi- 
gation. Displaying very decidedly a maritime 
taste, he was early sent to sea, where lie spent his 
youth and first manhood. 

y/e find him at Lisbon in 1470, gaining a liveli- 
hood by the construction of maps and charts. In 
studying their maps, Columbus concluded that the 
ancients were acquainted wn'th 225 out of the 360 
degrees of the earth's equatorial circumference, 
their knowledge stretching from Things in Asia 

Ch7Hstopher Columbus. 55 

to the Canary Islands. To this he considered the 
Portuguese to have added 15 degrees more, in dis- 
covering the Cape Yerde Islands. 

Carefully comparing what was thus known of 
the earth's surface with the globe of Ptolemy, he 
calculated that 120 degrees in longitude, or a third 
of the equatorial circumference, still remained 
unaccounted for. He thought that new land 
could be discovered by sailing westwardly. Many 
things combined to confirm him in this opinion. 
Numerous evidences of a strange land floating 
from the west had been repOxHed by mariners. 
Trees of an unknown species, tropical vegetables, 
and bodies of a strange race of men, coming in on 
currents from the open ocean, indicated land 
towards the west. 

From reading the narratives of Marco Polo, 
Columbus conceived the notion that Asia extended 
easterly into the great dark western sea. And 
notwithstanding his several voyages to the New 
World, he died in the belief that the land he dis- 
covered was a portion of Asia. 

It was probably in the year 1474 that Columbus 
finally convinced himself that land lay to the west, 
and thoroughly made up his mind to seek it. Two 
personages, very much renowned at this period for 

56 What Catholics have done for Science. 

their scientific learning, greatly influenced this 
decision of Coliircbus. These were Cardinal 
Alliacus (Pierre d'Ailly) and the great Florentine 
astronomer, Paul Toscanelli. Columbus took with 
hirn on his memorable voyage a map by Toscanelli, 
and a copy of the great cardinal's work, " Imago 
Mimdi " C Picture of the World ")• 

Columbus started out on his voyage of discovei'y 
with a well-designed plan, based on the best scien- 
tific knowledge of his day. He did not point his 
prow to the western horizon and let the waves bear 
him whithersoever they listed. I^or was he driven 
on the shores of the New World by accidental 
storms, as ISTaddod and Gardar to Iceland, and 
Gunlijorn to Greenland. He set forth as one seek- 
ing a destined goal. 

In 1484 Columbus first began to apply for aid 
to carry out his project. He appealed to Genoa, 
Yenice, and Portugal. They looked upon his 
scheme as the wildest dream of a visionary. The 
Spanish rulers, whose patronage he also sought, 
after holding him in susjDense for seven weary years, 
finally appointed a grand council to examine his 
designs. This august body deemed them entirely 
impracticable. No reverses, however, could break 
his indomitable spirit. An invincible faith ani- 

Christopher Cohtmbus. 57 

mated liis noble soul. A holy motive possessed 
liim. He thought that God had chosen him to jjlant 
the cross and save souls in some distant land beyond 
even the mare tenebrosum of the Arabian geogra- 

Finally, in 1491, Columbus resolved to abandon 
Spain and commit his fortunes to generous France. 
Traveling through Andalusia on foot, he stopped 
for refreshments at the Franciscan monastery of La 
Rabida, near the seaport of Palos. The guardian, 
Juan Perez, an eminently learned man, was charmed 
with the grandeur of the traveler's ideas, and 
became deeply interested in his wondrous scheme. 
He succeeded in also gaining over to the views of 
Columbus Alonso Pinzon, an experienced navigator 
of Palos. This Father Perez had been formerly 
the queen's confessor, and so had sufficient influence 
to obtain from their majesties a new hearing for 
the great seaman. But Columbus again failed of 
receiving the desired succor, and, with his face 
once more towards France, had journeyed some 
leagues from Granada, where he met their majesties, 
when a royal messenger overtook and recalled him. 
The noble soul of woman rose equal to the supreme 
occasion, and Isabella consented to sacrifice her 
jewels to the sublime enterprise. 

58 What Catholics have done for Science. 

Columbus set sail from Palos on Friday morning, 
August 3, 1492, with three little vessels, the Santa 
Maria^ the Pinta^ and the Nina^ and one hundred 
and twenty men. Columbus commanded the first, 
Martin A. Pirizon the second, and Vincent Y. Pin- 
zon the third. Columbus and his little band asked 
with much fervor the benediction of heaven on 
their hazardous undertaking. Previous to their 
departure, they confessed to Father Perez and re- 
ceived the Holy Communion. After seveuty-one 
days of ocean they reached the island of Guanahani, 
San Salvador, one of the Bahama group. Columbus 
first stepped on shore, and, bearing aloft the sign of 
redemption and the banner of Castile, knelt down 
and devoutly kissed the soil of the E'ew World. 

Columbus made four voyages to the new hemi- 
sphere, adding each time to his discoveries. On 
his third voyage he touched the mountainous shores 
of Paria, and from the delta of the Orinoco saw 
the mainland of South America. 

It is sadly to be mentioned that the great achieve- 
ment of Columbus awakened against him a spirit of 
great jealousy. He suffered cruel injustice after 
the death of Isabella. Among the ingredients of 
his bitter chalice were imprisonment and chains. 
But the soul of the grand old man rose superior to 

Christopher Cohnnbus. 59 

injustice and ingratitude, for his was a soul stamped 
with the heroic characters of God's saints. 

Columbus' delineations of the ISTew World are 
singularly charming. His language is strikingly 
simple and beautiful, and manifests his intense love 
of nature, A deep religious sentiment pervades all 
his descriptions. His ship's journal, his letters to 
the Chancellor Sanchez, to the Donna Juana, and 
to Queen Isabella, show that he was a keen observer 
of nature in the I^ew World. He notices its 
distribution of heat and terrestrial magnetic varia- 

Columbus was the first to determine astronom- 
ically that there is a line of no variation of the 
magnetic needle, and this discovery marked a great 
epoch in the progress of nautical astronomy. He 
was the first to describe the equatorial current, or 
movement of the waters of the ocean between the 
tropics, and the first to give an account of the Mar 
de Sargasso, or great sea-v,^eed bank extending from 
the 19th to the 34th degree north latitude. Colum- 
bus was able to find his reckonings by astronomical 
methods, and was skilled in the use of the astrolabe, 
though he was unacquainted with the log. 

It has been suggested that if Columbus had fol- 
lowed the map given him by Toscanelli, he would 

6o What Catholics have done for Science. 

have reached Florida, borne thither by the Gulf 
Stream, and so the United States of IsTorth America 
would have been peopled by Spanish Catholics 
instead of English Protestants. He followed, 
however, the advice of Martin Pinzon, and took a 
more southern course, reaching the Bahamas. The 
flight of a flock of parrots to the southwest, towards 
evening, shaped this advice of Pinzon. 

The great discovery of the Genoese seaman, in 
giving to the world a new hemisphere, not only 
enlarged our knowledge of t' j earth, but, by 
expanding our view of the visibit' heavens, gave us 
a broader idea of the universe, and opened up an 
era of intellectual advancement unequaled in 
human history. 

Magellan. 6 1 


EEJ^AISTDO MAGELLAN, or, more prop- 
erly, Magailisens, the first circumnavigator 
of tlie',4iobe, was born in Oporto, Portu- 
gal^ about the yeca 1470. He was a fervent Catho- 
lic, and in his marvellous voyages was borne onward 
as much by his zeal for the conversion of souls as 
by his love of discovery. From early boyhood his 
life was spent upon the sea, in the fleets of Portu- 
gal. He first really distinguished himself, however, 
in his forty-second year, at the siege of Malacca. 

In 1517 he sought the great Xiraenes, and ten- 
dered his services to Spain. He demonstrated to 
the famous Cardinal that the then much-valued 
Spice Islands could be reached by sailing west- 
wardly, and might be thus secured to Spain ; there 
being then a stipulation between Spain and Portu- 
gal that all lands discovered 180° west of the West- 
ern Islands should be the property of Spain, and all 

62 What CatJiolics have done foi" Science. 

east of that boundary sliould belong to Portugal. 
With this view, the Spanish Government furnished 
him with a fleet of five small vessels and a crew of 
two hundred and thirty-six marines. 

He set sail from San Lucar, on his memorable 
voyage, September 20, 1519. Reaching the Pat- 
agonian coast, he passed the winter at a place he 
called Port San Julian. Patagonia, signifying the 
country of the large-footed, was so named by Ma- 
gellan from the large footprints found upon the 

Leaving San Julian, and going southward, he dis- 
covered the dreary archipelago of Tierra del Fuego 
on the 21st of October, 1520. Tierra del Fuego, the 
land of fire, was so named by him because of the 
number of volcanic fires seen around its coast. 
This desolate group of eleven islands is at the ex- 
tremity of South America, and is abandoned to the 
most wretched climate and the most ungainly race 
of men on the planet. The waters of the Atlantic 
and Pacific here meet, and struggle together in 
boisterous conflict, and the inhospitable region is 
convulsed by those terrific and frequent tempests 
called the williwaws. 

Magellan gave his name to the straits dividing 
Patagonia from Tierra del Fuego and uniting the 

Magellan, 63 

waters of the Atlantic and Pacific. He passed 
through the straits, 315 miles in length, in thirty- 
eight days, and was the first European navigator to 
plough the placid breast of the grand Pacific. 
Magellan called it the Pacific from the unruffled 
calmness he experienced while traversing it. After 
a sail of three months and eighteen days on the 
great ocean he discovered the Philippine Islands. 
On one of these, Mactan, Magellan and his little 
band were attacked in overwhelming numbers by 
the natives, and he met his death bravely fighting 
his way to his vessel. 

In his great voyage of circumnavigation Magel- 
lan endured manifold hardships and displayed traits 
of heroism of unwonted character. While on the 
Patagonian shores, four of his captains revolted 
against him. With prompt address and vigor he 
quelled the mutiny. Before reaching the Philip- 
pines, the heroic little band suffered dreadfully 
from disease and want of food. Of the ^nq ships 
that set sail from San Lucar, but one remained, the 
Victoria, when he reached the isle of Mactan. Of 
the two hundred and thirty-seven persons leaving 
Spain, only eighteen again touched its shores. 
There is a striking parallel between himself and the 
discoverer of the J^ew World. They encountered 

64 What Catholics have done for Science. 

and overcame similar obstacles, and showed the 
same indomitable perseverance and a like mag- 
nanimity of character. 

One of the wonders of the heavens are the Magel- 
lanic clouds. These two whitish clouds, of unequal 
size, seemingl 7 detached portions of the Milkj Way, 
give an as23ect of singular beauty to the circumpolar 
southern sky. They are in the immediate neighbor 
hood of the splendid Canopus, the third in the order 
of brilliancy of all the gems of heaven. In recogni- 
tion of his great services to geography, and espe- 
cially of the southern hemisphere, these nebulae 
have been popularly named from him, the Magel- 
lanic clouds. 

Gama and Vespiiccu 65 

^ama antr Urspitcci. 

JPACE will not here permit more than a 
skeleton chronology of the lives of these 
two distinguished Catholic discoverers. 
Both made very important additions to our knowl- 
edge of the earth's surface, and so greatly extended 
the horizon of geographical science. Yasco da 
Gama was a fearless and intrepid navigator. As a 
discoverer he must be placed immediately after 
the Genoese seaman. The finding of the maritime 
passage to India is only second in importance to 
the discovery of the l^ew World. 

Emanuel, king of Portugal, intrusted him with 
four vessels and one hundred and sixty men, and 
sent him forth to find a southern route to India. 

On the 8th of July, 149T, the little fleet left Lis- 
bon, and after a world of hardships reached Bey- 
poor, seven miles south of Calicut, on the 20th of 
May, 1498. CaHcut is one of the chief towns of 
Malabar, a portion of British India. 

66 What Catholics have done for Science. 

In tlie course of this memorable voyage Da 
Gama and his flotilla passed the Cape Yerde Islands, 
sailed through the Bay of St. Helena, rounded the 
Cape of Good Hope (called also most appropriately 
the Cape of Storms), touched at I^atal, the home of 
the honest Zulu and the liberty-loving Boer, dis- 
covered Mozambique, the old slave-market of the 
world, sighted the island of Acoutado, and finally 
reached Melinda, on the coast of Zanzibar, a regu- 
larly built city with broad streets and neatly built 
houses. From here they steered across an arm of 
the Indian Ocean, and directed their course to the 
shores of Asia. The width of this arm of the third 
of the great oceans is 750 leagues. Betuming 
home after an absence of twenty-six months, Da 
Gama reached Portugal with one ship and fifty-five 

Yasco Da Gama was a man of marvelous resolu- 
tion. When he had passed the Stormy Cape, and, 
after an experience of most frightful gales, broke 
into strange and unknown seas beyond the southern 
extremity of Africa, the hearts of his sailors died 
within them. To add to their terror, they saw the 
weird mirage that in that neighborhood presages a 
storm, called the ghost of the Cape. They were so 
overcome with fear, that they refused to go farther. 

Gama and Vespucci. 67 

But Da Gama sternly repressed the mutiny, put 
the ringleaders in chains, and, undaunted, stretched 
his course into the open sea. He was a man en- 
dowed with a high sense of honor and justice. He 
was much esteemed and trusted by his country. 
He was deeply imbued with a religious spirit, lov- 
ing his rehgion with a fervid devotion. 

The name of Amerigo Yespucci, as just, up- 
right, and honorable a mariner as ever plowed 
the main, has been very much aspersed and ma- 
ligned. Alexander Humboldt has, however, fully 
and fairly vindicated him. The American conti- 
nent has been named after Amerigo Yespucci 
through no design on his part, but simply through 

His first voyage was to Cape Paria, of which ex- 
pedition Alonso de Hojeda was commander and 
Yespucci pilot. His next maritime venture was in 
the service of Portugal, when he sailed in a like 
capacity, under Admiral Pinzon, to the coast of 
Brazil. He wrote interesting accounts of both 
these visits to the New World, and from the last 
relation he acquired the reputation of being the 
discoverer of the mainland of America. In one of 
his voyages he discovered the Bay of All Saints. 

In 1505 he offered his services to Spain. They 

68 What Catholics have done f 07^ Scie^ice. 

were gladly accepted by Ferdinand ; and so tiglily 
was he esteemed as a navigator, astronomer, and 
geographer, that he was appointed by that ruler 
Spanish pilot major. His duties were to prepare 
descriptions of all coasts, accounts of expeditions, 
and to examine into the capabilities of pilots. 

Yespucci made four trips to the ]^ew World, 
concerning which he wrote elaborate accounts in 
an interesting style. His writings reached a Ger- 
man geographer, Martin Hylacomylus, of Freiburg, 
in Breisgau, who was very much captivated by 
them, and consequently, in a small work, " Cosmo- 
graphise Introductio," gave the name Americi 
Terra to the new continent. From this small be- 
ginning it ultimately transpired that the name of 
America was universally given to the New World. 
Yespucci was entirely free from any connivance in 
the matter. 

Yespucci was born at Florence, March 9, 1451, 
and died at Seville, the 22d of February, 1512. 
He was a very strict disciplinarian, and an able 
and intelligent navigator. He was for many years 
a close friend of Columbus. Yespucci was a 
scholar, and familiar with the ancient and modern 
classics, as is clearly evidenced in his elegant de- 
scriptions of the Brazilian coast. His delineations 

Gaina and Vespucci, 69 

of the tropical luxuriance of the ISTew World's 
vegetation, and of the richness and variety of its 
organisms, possess a peculiar charm. 

Humboldt satisfactorily proves that Vespucci 
was altogether guiltless of any endeavor to fraudu- 
lently impose his name on the ]^ev7 "World. In his 
exordium to the proof of the integrity of Ves- 
pucci's character in this matter, Humboldt writes 
as follows : " Where the designation of a large con- 
tinent, generally adopted as such, and consecrated 
by the usage of many ages, presents itself to us as 
a monument of human injustice, it is natural that 
we should at first sight attribute the cause to the 
person who would appear most interested in the 
matter. A careful study of the documentary evi- 
dence has, however, shown that this supposition in 
the present instance is devoid of foundation, and 
that the name of America has originated in a dis- 
tant region (as, for instance, in France and Ger- 
many), owing to many concurrent circumstances 
which appear to remove all suspicion from Ves- 
pucci. Here historical criticism stops, for the field 
of unknown causes and possible moral contingen- 
cies does not come within the domain of positive 
history. We here find a man who, during a long 
life, enjoyed the esteem of his contemporaries, 

70 What Cat ho lies have eione for Seienee. 

raised bj his attainments in nautical astronomy to 
an honorable employment. The concurrence of 
many fortuitous circumstances gave him a celebrity 
which has vreighed upon his memory and helped 
to throw discredit on his character. Such a posi- 
tion is indeed rare in the history of human 
misfortunes, and affords an instance of a moral 
stain dee23ened by the glory of an illustrious name. 
It seems most desirable to examine, amid this mix- 
ture of success and adversity, what is owing to the 
navigator himself, to the accidental errors arising 
from a hasty supervision of his writings, or to the 
indiscretion of dangerous friends." 

Other Catholic Discoverers. 71 

^tfirr Catljoltc ©isco^etto* 

Catholic, although not giving its name 
to the Pacific, is credited with catching 
the first sight of the grand ocean, on the 25th of 
September, 1513, from the heights of the Sierra 
de Quarequa, at the Isthmus of Panama. St. 
Domingo was the first part of the ]^ew "World 
visited by Balboa, l^ot meeting with success in 
his undertakings here, he resolved to join an ex- 
pedition preparing to sail for Darien, the Castilla 
de Oro (the Golden Castile) of the Spaniards. He 
was forced to escape in a cask as a stowaway, owing 
to the importunity of creditors. Fortune soon 
placed him at the head of the Darien colony. 
From here he started, with a company of two hun- 
dred and ninety men in a brigantine and nine large 
canoes, to find the great western ocean spoken of 
by the Indians. At Coyba he left the brigantine 
and canoes, and set out on foot across the moun- 

72 What Catholics have done for Science. 

tains. Balboa, in advance of his people, climbing to 
the top of a mighty peak, caught the first glimpse 
of the ex]Danding waters. The sublime view filled 
liis sonl with ecstasy, and, casting himself on his 
knees, he fervently thanked God, and devoutly 
erected a cross upon the spot. 

His grand discovery created fresh enthusiasm in 
Spain, and added a new stimulus to the spirit of 

During his absence, he was superseded in the 
command of the Darien colony by Pedrarias 
Davila, a narrow-minded and cruel tyrant. Jealous 
of the achievements of Balboa, Davila had him 
seized on the pretense of treason, and executed, 
without the shadow of justice, in the year 151T. 

Francisco Pizarro was with Balboa when he dis- 
covered the Pacific. Pizarro afterwards conquered 
and ex^Dlored Peru, the country of the Incas and 
the best organized State of South Ameiica. The 
youngest brother of the great conquistador, Gon- 
zalo, with three hundred and fifty Spaniards 
and four thousand Indians, passed into the Ter- 
ritory of Quito, on an exploring exi^edition. 
From Quito they traveled eastward in quest of 
a land reputed rich in spices. They forced 
a passage over the Andes into the '•' Land of 

Other Catholic Discoverers. J;^ 

Cinnamon." Penetrating thence through a por- 
tion of the greatest forest on the globe, they 
reached the Napo, a tributary of the Amazon. 
The greater number of the explorers were now re- 
duced by starvation and vicissitudes of climate to 
such a condition of wretchedness that they were 
unable to proceed further. PizarrOj choosing one 
of his officers, Orellana, and a few of the most in- 
trepid, sent them forward in search of assistance. 
This little party, after a few days of v/andering, 
reached, near its head-v/aters, the Amazon, the 
most voluminous river of the earth and draining a 
third of South America. Orellana, unable to ob- 
tain supplies even to return to Pizarro, constructed 
a rude boat and floated down the Amazon to its 

Pizarro and his famished comrades, after vainly 
awaiting Orellana's return, started back to Quito, 
which eighty Spania^'ds and half the Indians sur- 
vived to reach in a most woe-begone condition, 
looking more like miserable spectres than human 
beings. In the story of American exploration, 
this exploit stands alone for danger, difficulty, and 
heroic fortitude. 

Although Orellana was the first to navigate the 
Amazon, Father Acuila first described it, and Yin- 

74 What Catholics have done for Science. 

cent Yanez Pinzon 'first saw it. This Piuzon, one 
of the lieutenants of Columbus, also discovered 
Cape St. Augustine, Yucatan, and the mouth of 
the Orinoco. 

Hernan Cortes, the brilliant soldier of fortune, 
explored Mexico, and, at his own expense, fitted 
out an expedition that discovered CaUfornia. Lower 
or Old California had been previously discovered 
bj Ximenes, of Spain ; it was first settled, however, 
by the Jesuit missionaries in 1683. 

Space prohibits the narration of the exploits of 
all the Spanish cavaliers that distinguished them- 
selves by discoveries in the New World. Alonzo 
de Hojeda, Juan de La Cosa, Pedro Alonzo Mno, 
Christoval Guerra, Diego de Lepe, Podrigo de 
Bastides, Juan Ponce de Leon, conqueror of Porto 
Rico and discoverer of Florida, can merely be 
mentioned, while many others must be passed over 
without even this courtesy. 

It was not the mere love of gold that attracted 
these men to the New World. The spirit of 
knight-errantry and the hope to Christianize the 
pagan stirred the breasts of the bold conquista- 

" It is a curious fact," says Washington Irving, 
" well worthy of notice, that the spirit of chivalry 

Other Catholic Discoverers, 75 

entered largely into the early expeditions of the 
Spanish discoverers, giving them a character wholly 
distinct from similar enterprises undertaken by 
other nations." 

Marquette and Joliet explored the Mississippi in 
1673, traveling in their birch canoes over twenty- 
five hundred miles. 

Fernando De Soto, born in Estremadura, Spain, 
was a famous explorer. In 1528 he explored the 
coasts of Guatemala and Yucatan for seven hun- 
dred miles. He was with Pizarro in the conquest 
of Peru. Hearing much concerning Florida, and 
obtaining permission from the Emperor Charles Y. 
to undertake its conquest, De Soto fitted out at his 
own expense an expedition with this object. He 
traveled through the countries of the Appalachians 
and Chickasaws. These Indians were hostile, and 
in passing through their territory he braved great 
dangers and endured many hardships. De Soto 
was the discoverer of the Mississippi, which, v/ith 
his little army of followers, he crossed, using barges 
as transports. He died from an attack of fever, on 
the banks of the great river, and his body was sunk 
at midnight in the middle of the stream, a little 
south of the present site of Helena, Arkansas. 

La Salle, Hennepin, and Membre made numer- 

76 What Catholics have done for Science. 

ous explorations, and, in 1682, descended the Mis- 
sissippi to the Gnlf of Mexico. 

The saintly Father De Smet and other mission- 
aries of the Society of Jesus were the indefatigable 
explorers of the western Territories of the United 

Mechanics, J J 


IHE science of mechanics treats of the 
laws of equilibrium and motion, and 
embraces statics, dynamics, hydrostatics, 
hydrodynamics, and pneumatics. Statics investi^ 
gates the action of forces in producing equilibrium 
oi solid bodies; dynamics the effects of forces in 
causing motion in solids; hydrostatics treats of the 
conditions of rest in fluids; hydrodynamics con- 
siders the effects of forces on fluids when motion 
is produced ; and pneumatics treats of the equilib- 
rium and motion of gaseous bodies. 

The ancients had a very limited knowledge of 
mechanics. Archimedes, the greatest among them 
in this respect, was acquainted with the principle 
of the lever and, probably, with that of the in- 
clined plane. He has left an explanation of some 
of the properties of the center of gravity and of 
the chief doctrines of hydrostatics. Still, his 

"j^ What Catholics have done for Science 

knowledge of the science of mechanics was ciro 
scribed bj very narrow bounds. 

We are indebted almost entirely to Galileo 
his school for our knowledge of the principle, 
elementary mechanics. These principles -v 
afterwards develoj)ed and applied in practice 
other great philosophers, many of whom were n 
Catholics, and, though they deserve great ere 
for this development and application, still tht; 
work is of far less importance than the work 
those who discovered the fundamental principles.; 

The three laws of motion are justly regarded •■ 
the basis of modern mechanical science. The f 
law of motion is, that " a body, when not acted o. 
by any external forces, if at rest, will remain so 
or, if in motion, will continue to move in a straigh 
line and with a uniform velocity." 

It is not known with certainty who the first 
person was that announced this law in a general 
form, though the announcement is commonly at- 
tributed to Descartes. Galileo, in his Dialogues 
on Mechanics (1638), states the law correctly. Bo- 
relli of Castelnuovo, Galileo's pupil and the great 
mathematician of the convent of St. Pantaleon, in 
his treatise on the Force of Percussion (166Y), also 
announces it correctly. 

Mechanics. 79 

The problem of the law of falling bodies, that 

^ spaces must be as the squares of the times, was 

solved by Galileo. He also discovered the 

ad law of motion : '^ All motion or change of 

'on in a body is proportional to the force im- 

ised and in the direction of that force." 

.'he principle of virtual velocities, what is gained 

force is lost in time, or, the weight raised moves 

much slower than the power as it is larger than 

) power, was stated with much clearness by Gal- 

M ), in his Treatise on Mechanical Science, in 

1 , 32. Galileo discovered the true proportion 

/^ich the accelerating force of a body falling 

own an inclined plane bears to the accelerating 

orce of the same body falling freely. This dis- 

overy led him to that of the third law of motion : 

-Action and reaction are equal and in opposite 

directions." Torricelli, in a treatise published in 

1644, credited his great master with the discovery 

of this law. The mechanical doctrines of Galileo 

were taken up and thoroughly verified by his 

school, which consisted of his pupils and personal 


Castelli, ''the creator of a new branch of hy- 
draulics," was a pupil and zealous defender of the 
opinions of Galileo. Another of his pupils was 

8o What CatJiolics have done for Science, 

Evangelista Torricelli, the famous discoverer of 
the barometer. The Florentine mathematician, 
Yincenzo Yiviani, was the last of Galileo's pupils. 
He lovingly nursed his old blind master during the 
last three years of his life. 

Borelli, v\7hile professor at Pisa, illustrated many 
of the doctrines of Galileo. Gassendi and Mer- 
senne, his friends, also greatly assisted in their 
verification. Gassendi, especially, was very happy 
in his illustrations of the truth of the second law of 

Galileo rediscovered the laws of the equilibrium 
of fluids. He explained the properties of fluids, 
in his Discourse on Floating Bodies (1611). Pas- 
cal, in his Treatise on the Equilibrium of Fluids 
(1653), shows that a fluid contained in a vessel 
presses equally in all directions. Galileo dis- 
covered that the air has weight. Descartes is 
thought to have had a share in this discovery. 
Pascal demonstrated practically, in 1647, that a 
column of air has weight. He made his great ex- 
periment on a church steeple in Paris. Castelli 
was the flrst to perceive that the velocity of the 
flow of a liquid from an orifice in a vessel of water 
depends on the depth of the orifice below the sur- 
face of the fluid. Torricelli discovered that this 

Mechanics. 8 1 

velocity is that acquired by a body falling freely 
through the same space, and is in proportion to the 
square root of the depth. 

Mersenne (1646) was the first to propose the 
problom of the center of oscillation. Among 
other Catholic philosophers who gave important 
aid toward the grand and symmetrical structure of 
modern mechanics, Piccolomini, Benedetti, Gri- 
maldi, Mariotte, and Cauchy are particularly 
worthy of mention. 

82 What Catholics have done for Science. 


HE science' of mathematics treats of the 
properties of magnitude and number. 
This science is usually divided into two 
branches, pure and applied mathematics. Applied 
mathematics has a very wide range, and is inter- 
woven with many of the physical sciences. This 
chapter will be confined to pure mathematics, which 
deals with the laws and relations of number and 
magnitude in the abstract. Under the head of pure 
mathematics are classed arithmetic, geometry, alge- 
bra, analytical geometry, and calculus. 

The origin of arithmetic, signifying in Greek to 
count, is lost in the dimmest twilight of science. 
It came from Arabia into Europe early in the thir- 
teenth century. The monk Planudes wrote a book 
on arithmetic in the fourteenth century, and thence- 
forth it began to flourish. It was greatly assisted 
in its growth by the contributions of the learned 

Algebra branched out from arithmetic, and treats 

Mathematics. 83 

of the doctrine of equations. The first European 
work on algebra was written by the Venetian friar, 
Luca Borgo, in 1494. Ludovico Ferrari solved 
biquadratic equations. But it was Frangois Yiete, 
of Fontenaj^-le-Conite, the greatest French naathe- 
matician of the sixteenth century and a most zeal- 
ous Catholic, that gave us algebra as we have it 
now. He was the creator of modern algebra. He 
also first applied algebra to geometry, and approxi- 
mately solved the quadrature of the circle. Yiete 
was certainly one of the greatest abstract mathema- 
ticians that ever lived, and must be named immedi- 
ately after Descartes. 

Geometry, meaning in Greek land- measurement, 
is a very old science, and is mentioned by the 
father of history. The Greeks greatly excelled in 
its cultivation. The first great modern advance- 
ment in it was made by Descartes, when, imitating 
Yiete in the use of symbols, he invented Analytical 
Geometry in 163Y. Probably the greatest name in 
the pure mathematics is that of Rene Descartes, 
" whose genius," says Humboldt, " was one of the 
most powerful manifested in any age." He achieved 
great and lasting results in mathematics. His true 
greatness as a mathematician enhanced very much 
his philosopliical views, and gave its chief weight 

. 1' 

84 What Catholics have done f 07^ Scie7ice. 

to his physical theory of the universe. His rule 
for the solution of the higher algebraic equations is 
still famous, and is as follows : " An equation can- 
not have a greater number of positive roots than 
there are variations of sign in the successive terms 
from plus to minus, or from minus to plus, nor can 
it have a greater number of negative roots than 
there are permanences or successive repetitions of 
the same sign in the successive terms." He gave a 
new solution of the equations of the fourth degree, 
first introduced exponents into equations, and was 
first to show how to draw tangents at every point 
of a geometrical curve. 

The founder of the French Polytechnic School, 
Gaspard Monge, was a great geometer, and his con- 
tributions to mathematics are numerous and valua. 
ble. He invented, in 1795, the Descriptive Geome- 
try, or analytical geometry of three dimensions, 
which is a general application of the principle of 
projections. Monge was the first to apply the 
infinitesimal calculus to the general theory of sur- 
faces. E^apoleon bestowed great honors upon him 
for his services to physics and mathematics. 

Michel Chasles, a pious Catholic and one of the 
very greatest geometers, wrote his immortal work, 
" Geometric Superieure," in 1852. 

Mathematics, 85 

The infiuitesiraal calculus now in use was in- 
vented by the great Leibnitz, who, though not 
formally a Catholic, was really one in sentiment. 

Cauchy was a great analyst and the chief devel- 
oper of the calculus of imaginaries. He is cele- 
brated in algebra for his brief and lucid demonstra- 

The brilliant Pascal aided Leibnitz in the inven- 
tion of the differential calculus. 

With Descartes, Yiete, Cauchy, Monge, Chasles, 
Biot, Nollet, and Pascal, Catholics certainly have 
no dearth of eminent names in mathematics. And 
to this bright galaxy may be added the other great 
Catholic names in mathematics, Eegiomontanus, 
Copernicus, Galileo, Peisch, Cavalieri, Mersenne, 
Laloubere, Maurer, Inniger, Adrianus, Puisieux, 
and Lesueur. The Jesuits have a long array of 
celebrated names in mathematics, and among them 
are those of Moigno, Kiccati, Boscovich, and Maco. 

86 What Catholics have done f 01^ Science. 


ACOUSTICS is the science of sound. 
Sound is a sensation produced bj the un- 
dulations, or waves, of some elastic me- 
dium failing upon the organs of hearing. It is 
always the result of rapid oscillations, or vibrations, 
imparted to the particles of elastic bodies, when 
their equilibrium has been disturbed either bj a 
shock or by friction. The ordinary medium 
through which sound is conveyed to the organ of 
hearing is the air. Sound-waves may also be prop- 
agated through liquids and through solids, pro- 
vided they possec3 the property of elasticity. In- 
deed, water is a better conductor of sound than air, 
in the ratio of four to one ; and elastic solids are 
still better than Vv'ater. Sound is transmitted 
through glass with eighteen times the rapidity with 
which it travels through air. 

In order to produce the sensation of sound, the 
undulations must have a great rapidity. The 

Acoustics. Sy 

lowest number of oscillations in a second, suffi- 
cient to produce sound, is 16^, and it is doubtful 
if the human ear is capable of recognizing a sound 
when the number of vibrations in a second pass 
16,000. This is thought to be the limit, or the 
highest tone that the ear can discriminate. 

When an elastic body receives a single blow, 
the sound occasioned is called a report. When the 
blow is repeated at regular intervals, producing 
equal waves that strike the ear with such rapidity 
that the intervals cannot be distinguished, it is 
called a tone. The ear distinguishes three charac- 
teristics in sound : the tone, or pitch, which is 
governed by the rapidity of the vibrations — the 
greater the velocity of the waves, the more acute 
will be the sound; the intensity, which decides 
whether a sound is loud or soft, depends on the 
amplitude or depth of the vibrations ; the quality, 
I or timbre, by which the notes of different instru- 
ments, as the violin, harp, or flute, are distin- 
guished from one another. 

An elastic medium is requisite for the transmis- 
sion of sound. No sound can be produced in a 
^acuum. The velocity of sound in air has been 
ascertained to be 1090 feet a second, wdien the 
temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It increases 

88 What Catholics have done for Science. 

nearly a foot a second for every degree above 32 
degrees. Ordinarily, the human voice is beard at 
tbe distance of 700 feet, but often it is heard much 
farther. There is an instance on record of its 
being heard a distance of 10 miles. A volcanic 
eruption has been heard a distance of 300 miles. 

All sounds, however, in the same medium travel 
with the same velocity. A whisper is heard at 
the same moment with the loudest tone. When 
we listen to distant music, all the tones reach us 
with the same velocity ; otherwise there would be 
confusion instead of harmony. 

The intensity of sound, however, diminishes 
with distance, the law being that the intensity of 
the waves will be inversely as the square of the 
distance from the center or source of sound. 

Sounds falling on different surfaces are reflected, 
the angle of incidence being always equal to the 
angle of reflection. Sound-waves are also re- 
fracted when passing from a rare to a more dense 
medium, and the contrary. 

The relation between a vibrating string and mu- 
sical notes is governed by the three following sim- 
ple laws : 1. The number of vibrations is inversely 
as the length of the string. 2. The number of vi- 
brations is as the square root of its tension, or 

Acoustics. 89 

stretcliing weight. 3. The number of vibrations 
of strings of different thickness is inversely as 
their diameters. 

Although the theoretic principles of acoustics 
may be said to be well known and well under- 
stood, yet in practical life this science has produced 
no satisfactory result. Indeed, in recent years very 
little has been accomplished in either the mathe- 
matical or practical part of the science. Among 
the physical sciences, acoustics may well be said to 
be bringing up the rear. 

The very earliest philosophers of antiquity recog- 
nized that sound was produced by some motion of 
the sounding body, and conveyed by some motion 
of the air to the ear. Pythagoras and Aristotle, 
particularly, expounded this opinion. It must be 
conceded, however, that their conception of the 
true nature of sound was very vague indeed, and 
their manner of expressing it extremely wavering. 

Galileo laid the foundation of mathematical 
acoustics. Father Mersenne may be said to be the 
first great author on sound vibrations, in his " Liber 
Harmonicorum," Paris, 1636. He made a great 
number of experiments with vibrating strings. 
He demonstrated that the differences and concords 
of acute and grave sounds depend on the rapidity 

90 What Catholics have do7te for Science. 

of vibrations, and their ratio. It was Mersenne 
that showed the effect of thickness and tension. A 
string must be four times as thick as another to 
give the octave below; and the tension must be 
four times as great in order to produce the octave 
above. It was Mersenne that determined experi- 
mentally the number of vibrations of a string re- 
quired to produce the different notes. 

Gassendi was one of the first to measure the 
velocity of sound. This he did by means of fire- 
arms. He found the velocity to be 1473 Paris feet 
in a second. 

Cassini and Picard, among others, afterwards 
found it to be 1172 Paris feet in a second. Gas- 
sendi was the first to perceive that a loud and a 
gentle sound travel with the same velocity. It 
was Mersenne that first recognized the existence of 
secondary notes, or that, when a string vibrates, 
one that is in unison with it will vibrate without 
being touched. 

M. Cauchy calculated the transverse, longitudi- 
nal, and rotary vibrations of elastic rods. So that, 
toward the development of acoustics, Catholic 
physicists have certainly done theiiv share. 

optics. 9 1 


PTICS is the science which treats of the 
nature and phenomena of liglit. Optics 
may be said to be almost entirely of 
modern growth. The ancients knew the law of re- 
jlection, and were acquainted with the phenomenon 
of refraction ; but the belief that the rays of light 
proceeded from the eye to the object, instead of the 
contrary, was nearly universal among them. 

There are, principally, two theories purporting to 
account for the phenomena of light. One is the 
emission or corpuscular theory, which supposes the 
source of light to throw off luminous particles so 
minute as to be imponderable, and that these, im- 
pinging on the organs of vision, produce light. 
The other is the undulatory theory. This supposes 
an imponderable ether extending out into interstellar 
space and filling the interstices of all bodies, how- 
ever hard or seemingly impenetrable. Yibrations 
in the particles of this ether, transverse or, indeed. 

92 What Catholics have done for Science, 

perpendicular to the direction of the raj, are the 
origin of light. 

It may be said that this theory is now universally 
accepted by physicists. It alone gives a satisfactory 
solution of all the phenomena of light. It explains 
reflection and refraction equally as vrell as the 
emission theory, and gives the only consistent ex- 
planation of the interference of light, polarization, 
double refraction, dispersion, and diffraction. 

When light is reflected from a surface, it obeys 
a very simple law. The angle of incidence is 
equal to the angle of reflection. The angle of in- 
cidence is that made by the incident ray with the 
perpendicular, and the angle of reflection is the one 
made by the reflected ray with the same perpendic- 

When a ray of light passes from one medium 
into another, it is bent from its course at the surface 
of division, and is said to be refracted. A ray of 
light always travels in a straight line in the same 
medium, if this be homogeneous. The whole ray 
is never transmitted, as a portion is reflected, and 
a portion scattered in all directions. When a ray 
of light passes obliquely from a rare to a more 
dense medium, it is bent toward the perpen- 
dicular ; and from a dense to a rarer medium, from 

optics, 93 

the perpendicular. "It is a universal law of 
refraction at plane surfaces^ that the paths of 
the ray before and after transmission always lie 
in the same plane with the perpendicular to the 
refracting surface drawn to the point of transmis- 
sion, and on opposite sides of that perpendicular; 
and m that plane the sines of the angle of incidence 
and of refraction have in all cases the same ratio for 
any two given media." The ratio of the sine of 
the angle of incidence to the sine of the angle of 
refraction is constant for the same medium, and is 
called the index of refraction. But the ratio 
varies for different substances. 

The dispersion of light is its decomposition or 
separation into its primary colors. White light is 
composite, being constituted of seven simple colors. 
A lens or prism has the power of producing 
dispersion. There is nothing really definite con- 
cerning the exact number of primary colors. 
Some contend for many more, and some for fewer 
-than seven, Eed, orange, yellow, green, blue, in- 
digo, and violet are named as the primary colors. 
They are unequally refrangible; that is, after 
decomposition they are found at different distances 
from the original direction of the beam. Red has 
the least, and violet the greatest, refrangibility. 

94 What Catholics have done for Scieiice. 

Two waves of light may interfere, and thus in- 
crease or destroy each other's effects. When two 
waves emanating from the same source act on a 
particle of ether, it vibrates with an intensity corre- 
sponding to the combined forces of the waves ; the 
same thing occurs, providing the waves are of equal 
length, or differ by a given niim^ber of entire waves, 
even when they emanate from different sources. 
But if tw^o waves, acting on a particle of ether, 
differ by any fractional number of undulations, 
they oppose each other's action, and so actually 
produce partial or total darkness. 

The amplitude of the vibrations of the ethereal 
particles determines the intensity of light, but its 
color depends on the rapidity of vibration. The 
length of a wave of light is very small indeed. A 
wave of red light is the 256 ten-millionth of an 
inch long, and of violet light 174: ten-millionths 
of an inch. The velocity of light itself is about 
185,000 miles a second. The number of vibrations 
of violet hght in a second is 710 millions of mil- 
lions. This latter calculation admits of a very sim- 
ple geometric demonstration. 

Diffraction is the divergence of the rays of light 
in passing the edge of an opaque body, causing the 
appearance of parallel fringes of prismatic colors. 

optics, 95 

The emission theory utterly fails to account for this 
property of light. The nndulatory theory satisfac- 
torily explains it, on the principal of interference. 

The double refraction of light is caused by a 
property of many transparent crystals, such as Ice- 
land-spar and carbonate of lime, owing to their 
peculiar structure. A beam of light transmitted 
through these crystals is split into two portions 
— one called the ordinary, and the other the extra- 
ordinary ray. An object seen through such crys- 
tals presents two images to the eye. 

If a ray of light is reflected or transmitted at 
certain angles of incidence, it is rendered incapable 
of being again reflected or transmitted, excepting at 
certain angles of incidence, and is said to be 
polarized. Light can be polarized by either reflec- 
tion or refraction. If we take a plate of unsilvered 
glass and hold it obliquely at an angle of about 
66°, and allow a beam of light to be reflected 
from it onto another similar glass plate, almost the 
entire beam will be again reflected from the second 
plate when held in a position parallel to the first. 
If the second plate be turned so that, instead of 
being parallel to the first, it becomes perpendicular 
to it, none of the light will be reflected from the 
second plate, the light being completely extiu- 

96 What CatJiolics have done for Science. 

guished. This peculiar property imparted to the 
beam of light by the first reflection, rendering it less 
capable of being reflected bj the second plate, is 
called polarization bj reflection. 

Light passed through certain crystals, and particu- 
larly the mineral crystal tourmaline, is no longer 
affected like common light, and possesses this 
property of polarization. The internal structure 
of this crystal is such that a ray of light which has 
passed tlirough a thin plate of it cannot pass through 
a second, if it is placed in a position at right angles 
with the first. This is polarization by refraction. 
Light is polarized m a number of ways, as by pass- 
ing it through a bundle of plates of thin glass or 
mica, by reflection from polished non-metallic 
surfaces and at particular angles for each. This is 
plane polarization. Many crystals have the power 
of imparting to light the properties of circular and 
elliptical polarization. Quartz, a uniaxial crystal, 
gives circularly, and nitre, a biuaxial one, elliptically 
polarized figures. 

It will scarcely be disputed that the greatest 
name in optics — a good Catholic one — is that of 
Augustin Jean Fresnel. Fresnel demonstrated 
the truth of the undulatory theory of light, by 
showing, with rare analytical powers, that it, and it 

optics. 97 

alone, could account for the principle of interference. 
In his experiment, by which he established the 
truth of this theory, Fresnel employed two mirrors 
placed together at a very obtuse angle, and reflected 
from their surfaces upon a screen light from the 
focus of a lens, in such a way that, on reaching the 
screen, some of the undulations of two converging 
rays should correspond, and intensify one another ; 
while others should be separated by half a wave- 
length and destroy one another. In fact, Fresnel 
explained, in the clearest manner and by striking 
experiments, all the properties of light, on the 
principle of the undulatory theory. His practical 
application of the undulatory theory of the mode 
of the propagation of light to the improvement of 
the light-house system was of incalculable value, 
and has quite abolished the old method of illumi- 
nating light-houses. 

Another great Catholic name in optics is that of 
Blot. He discovered the principal laws of rotatory 
polarization. They are the following: "1. With 
the same substance the rotation of the plane of 
polarization is in proportion to the thickness of the 
substance traversed. 2. When two plates are placed 
together, the effect is nearly the same as that of a 
single plate w^hose thickness is equal to the sum or 

98 What Catholics have done for Science. 

difference of the two plates, according as tliej 
rotate the raj in the same or opposite directions. 
3. The degrees of rotation of the plane of polariza- 
tion vary with the different rays of the spectrum, 
and increase with their refrangibilitj." 

In 1808, Mains, a Catholic physicist, discovered 
the phenomenon of polarization, while looking 
through a doubly-refracting prism at the light of 
the setting sun, reflected from the surface of a 
glazed door standing at an angle of 56° 45^, which 
is the angle at which glass polarizes light by 
reflection. Malus also discovered, in 1811, the 
depolarization of white light, or that a pencil of 
polarized light recovers its original power of being 
reflected after being transmitted through certain 
crystals. Malus also detected the law of double 
refraction, and was the inventor of a polariscope. 

In 1849 M. Fizeau measured the velocity of 
light by means of a toothed wheel, and found it to 
travel at the rate of 185,000 miles a second. The 
wheel was placed at Suresnes, and the mirror to 
reflect the teeth at Montmartre — a distance apart 
of 28,516 feet. 

The property of light called diffraction was first 
observed and partially explained by Grimaldi, an 
Italian Catholic physicist, in 1665. 

optics. 99 

Descartes, the founder of the modern mechanical 
philosophy, must be considered as the genuine 
author of the explanation of the rainbow. He 
showed that the sunbeams, meeting the spherical 
drops of water, undergo two refractions and a 
reflection, and reach the eye at an angle of forty- 
one degrees with their original direction. 

Among other Catholic physicists whose labors 
helped the progress of the science of optics, Monge, 
Cauchy, Maraldi, and Ampere hold distinguished 

lOO What Catholics have do7ze for Science. 


HEEMOTICS is the science treating of 
the phenomena and properties of heat. 
Two rival hypotheses undertake to ac- 
count for the evohition of heat. 

The hypothesis of emission claims that minute 
imponderahle particles of matter proceed from the 
source of heat in all directions, and thus communi- 
cate this property to other bodies. 

The undulatory hypothesis supposes heat to be 
the result of a vibratory motion of an imponder- 
able ether permeating all space, and these ethereal 
vibrations to be similar to the light producing 
vibrations, if not absolutely identical with them. 

Like light, heat has been found capable of reflec- 
tion, refraction, and polarization, and these phe- 
nomena can be with thorough satisfaction explained 
only by the undulatory hypothesis. The causes of 
heat are the sun, friction, percussion, chemical ac- 

Thermotics. loi 

tion, electricity, vital action, and terrestrial radia- 

Bj the conduction of heat is meant its passage 
from particle to particle of a continuous body, or 
from the particles of one body to those of another 
in contact with it. Solids are the only bodies that 
may be really said to be capable of conducting 
heat. Metals are ordinarily the best conductors, 
and their conductivity varies widely. Gold is the 
best conductor, v/hile silver and copper come im- 
mediately after. The conductivity of liquids is 
very poor indeed. Water or other liquid is never 
heated by conduction. Heat applied from beneath 
to a vessel containing water warms the film of par- 
ticles in contact with the vessel. These becoming 
warm expand and ascend, the cooler particles de- 
scending to replace them. The lighter particles 
ascending and the cooler ones descending form 
rapid currents when the water is boiling. This 
whole process is called convection. The conduc- 
tivity of gases is even worse than that of liquids. 
Gases are also heated by convection. The atmos- 
phere is warmed in this way. The layer of air in 
immediate contact with the earth is heated, and, 
being rendered lighter, ascends, while the cooler 
particles descend. These ascending and descend- 

I02 What Catholics have done for Sczejtce. 

ing currents are plainlj visible on a summer day to 
a person approaching a hillside. 

By radiation is meant the diffusion of warmth in 
all directions from the surface of a heated body to 
points not in contact with it. Eadiant heat is 
given off in right lines, and passes through aii' and 
other gases without heating them. When radiant 
heat falls upon liquid or solid surfaces, it is either 
reflected similarly to light, absorbed, and so re- 
tained ; or transmitted, and so partially passed 
through the body. 

A concave mirror will bring the rays of heat to 
a focus, and heat is reflected according to the same 
laws as light. Polished surfaces reflect heat, and 
the more highly these are polished, the more read- 
ily they reflect. Burnished gold is the best reflector, 
and reflects 76 per cent of the rays incident at an 
angle of 60°. Polished silver and brass follow 
next, and reflect 62 per cent. 

Bodies having black and dull surfaces absorb 
heat very rapidly, and part with their own heat by 
radiation with equal facility. Surfaces covered 
with lampblack have the greatest power of absorp- 
tion, and consequently excel in radiation. Pol- 
ished surfaces that reflect well absorb poorly and 
radiate slowly. Metallic vessels with highly pol- 

Thermotics. 103 

ished surfaces will longest conserve the heat of 
warm liquids placed in them. 

The formation of dew is owing to radiation, the 
earth parting with its heat during the night, and 
condensing the vapor in its immediate neighbor- 
hood. Grass and plants receive the most dew, be- 
cause their points radiate very rapidly. These 
points, parting easily with their heat, grow quickly 
cold and condense the vapor coming in contact 
with them. 

A lens made of rock-salt will refract the rays of 
heat passed through it. Heat is governed by the 
same laws of refraction as light. Rock-salt is used 
because it transmits more of the rays of heat than 
any other substance, 96 per cent of the incident 
heat-rays passing through it. Rock-salt is, then, 
the most diathermanous of bodies. Glass, on the 
contrary, transmits very little heat, and is said to 
be adiathermanous. Simple gases offer scarcely 
any resistance to the passage of heat ; the contrary 
is true of compound gases. Heat may be doubly 
refracted, planely and circularly polarized. 

One of the most natable, as it is one of the most 
general, effects of heat, is to cause bodies to expand. 
The tire of a wagon-wheel is highly heated, and 
thereby enlarged, that, contracting when cooled, it 

I04 What CatJiolics have done for Science. 

may tighten the wood-work of the wheel. Boiling 
water runs over the rim of its vessel. Air con- 
fined in a bladder and heated expands the bladder ; 
and pendulums have to be compensated, to counter- 
act the effects of heat. The property of heat by 
virtue of which it causes bodies to expand is util- 
ized as a means of measuring temperature. A 
volume of mercnry is chosen because mercury ex- 
pands nearly unifomily for equal increments of 
heat. A thermometer is the measurer of tempera- 
ture. There are various forms of the mercurial 
thermometer, and, in order to make them compar- 
able, they have two fixed points, the melting-point 
of ice and the boiling-point of water. 

The capacity of any body for heat is called its 
specific heat. If equal weights of mercury and 
water are exposed to the same heat, the mercury 
will reach a given temperature thirty times more 
rapidly than the water. The capacity of mercury 
for heat is then said to be thirty times less than 
that of water. The comparison is always made by 
weight, and water is taken as the standard. The 
specific heat of mercury is accordingly one-thirtieth. 
It has been found that there is a close connection 
between the specific heat and atomic weight of 
bodies ; so much so that the specific heats are al- 

Thennotics. 105 

most inversely as tlie atomic weights. The atomic 
weights of bodies are the proportionate weights in 
which they enter into combination. 

It is found by experiment that one ponnd of 
water at 32° mixed with one pomid at 172° will 
give two pounds at 102°. But if a pound of ice at 
32° be mixed with a pound of water at 172°, the 
mixture will be found to result in two pounds of 
water at 32°. So that the liquefaction of ice ab- 
sorbs 140°. These degrees are not sensible to the 
thermometer ; they are concealed, and so are called 
latent heat. It requires 140° of latent heat to re- 
duce water from the solid to the liquid state. 
Whenever the liquid is condensed to the solid state, 
this latent heat is given out in a sensible manner, 
and may be measured by the thermometer. It is 
also found by experiment that when water is 
changed into the gaseous state it absorbs an enor- 
mous amount of heat. Indeed, it requires the ab- 
sorption of almost 1000° of heat to convert water 
into steam. One thousand is, then, the latent heat 
of steam. On the condensation of the steam this 
heat is given out in a sensible form, and may be 
measured by the thermometer. Different vapors 
have different degrees of latent heat. Alcohol lias 
457°, ether 313°, and nitric acid 550°. By the 

To6 What Catholics have do7ie for Science. 

evaporation of liquids a great degree of cold can 
be reached. The vaporizing liquids take their heat 
from the surrounding bodies, greatly reducing their 
temperature. In this way water may be frozen in 
a red-hot crucible by the evaporation of anhydrous 
sulphuric acid. 

The great name in thermotics is a Catholic one, 
that of Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier. He inves- 
tigated the mathematical theory of conduction with 
great abihty. His memoir on this subject is the 
admiration of mathematicians for the wonderful 
analytical skill it displays. The French Institute, 
in 1810, proposed as its prize question : " To give 
the mathematical theory of the laws of the propaga- 
tion of heat, and to compare this theory with exact 
observations." Fourier's memoir was, in 1812, ad- 
judged the prize of three thousand francs. Among 
the statements of Fourier is one to the effect 
that the planetary spaces are not absolutely cold^ 
but have a proper heat derived from the radia- 
tion of the multitudinous stars that people the 

Macedonio Melloni, a Catholic physicist of 
Parma, is famous for his researches in thermotics. 
He established the analogy of radiant heat to light, 
by his discovery of heat in lunar light. Our 

Th er mo tics. 107 

knowledge concerning the laws of the transmission 
of heat through diathermanous substances has been 
derived almost entirely from the experiments of 
Melloni. He has called rock-salt the glass of heat, 
because of the readiness with which it allows the 
rajs of heat to pass through it. The researches of 
Melloni owe their great value principally to the use 
of a heat-^measurer of almost infinite sensitiveness, 
called the thermo-electric pile, invented by himself 
and his Catholic countryman, Nobili. This little 
apparatus consists of about fifty tiny bars of anti- 
mony and bismuth, arranged in alternate layers. 
The most minute difference of temperature generates 
an electric current in this instrument. Among 
some of the analogies betv/een heat and light dis- 
covered by Melloni, the following are the most 
remarkable : '' 1. Unstained glass seems equally 
transparent to all kinds of light. Such is the case 
with rock-salt and heat. 2. Light which has passed 
through a blue glass loses far less per cent w4ien it 
passes through a second plate of blue glass. Simi- 
larly, heat loses, say, Y5 per cent in passing through 
one plate of crown-glass, and only 10 per cent of the 
remainder in passing through a second. 3. Blue 
light passes easily through a blue glass, which 
almost entirely arrests red light. So, dark heat 

io8 What Catholics have done for Science. 

passes far less easily through glass than bright heat 

Dulong and Petit have, by their industry, added 
much to the advancement of thermotics. They 
discovered that, though fluids expand regularly up 
to 212°, beyond that point their expansion increases 
much more rapidly than that of air. They deter- 
mined the law of the cooling of heated bodies in a 
vacuum, and found that the rapidity of cooling 
decreases in geometrical, as the temperature di- 
minishes in arithmetical, proportion. They also 
established that the specific capacity of bodies 
increases as their temperature rises. It takes more 
heat to raise a body from 200° to 206° than from 
100° to 105°. Dulong and Petit, in 1819, discov- 
ered the law of atomic heat, or the specific heat of 
atoms, which is of very great importance in chemical 

Henri Victor Regnault, a Catholic physicist of 
Aix-la-Chapelle, made many elaborate researches in 
thermotics. He has given a table of specific heats 
of solids, admirable for its accuracy. A discovery 
of Pegnault's is that the specific capacity of a body 
rapidly increases as it nears its melting-point. The 
results of his investigations on the specific heat of 
gases are very important. Eegnault always took 

Thermotzcs. 1 09 

tlie greatest pains to liave his experiments as exact 
as possible. On this account, his views on the 
relation between temperature and the elasticity of 
steam are much valued. 

Edme Mariotte, the prior of St. Martin-sous- 
Beaune, was celebrated as a physicist in the first 
half of the seventeenth century. Everybody who 
has ever read of the effects of caloric on the expan- 
sion of gases will remember his famous law : The 
temperature remaining the same, the volumes of 
gases are in the inverse ratio of the pressures which 
they support. 

Sanctoriu.s, an Italian Catholic, made the first 
thermometer. It was an air-thermometer, depend- 
ing upon the expansion of a volume of air by heat, 
and was very accurate, seeing that air expands more 
uniformly than mercury. It has been replaced by 
the mercurial thermometer, because it is not capa- 
ble of measuring any considerable range of tem- 

Among other great Catholic physicists who have 
added by their industry to the progress of ther- 
motics may be mentioned Biot, Cauchy, Nobili, 
Pascal, and Ampere. 

I lo What CatJwlics have doite for Scie^ice. 


HE oldest form of electricity known to 
man is magnetism, and its existence was 
recognized more than a thousand years 
before the Christian era. Pliny is on record as 
giving magnetism its name. Pliny found lodestone, 
an ore of iron having the property of drawing to 
itself particles of iron, cobalt, and nickel, in great 
abundance in Magnesia, Lydia, and called it miagnes. 
From magnes comes magnet and magnetism. 

For the first mention of the electric property, we 
must go back to Thales of Miletus, Asia Minor, one 
of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. Thales lived 
some six hundred years before Christ. Electricity 
comes from electron^ amber, because it was in rub- 
bing amber the property was first perceived. Am- 
ber, rubbed with a silken cloth, will attract light 
bodies. The word itself, electricity, was coined by 
Gilbert of Colchester, in 1600 a.d. The science of 
electricity has not reached its present development 

Electricity. 1 1 1 

through the genius of any few men however re- 
nowned, bnt is the production of the zealous and 
united labors of many great pliilosophers. There 
is space here to notice only the principal stages of 
this development. 

Early in the seventeenth century a number of 
philosophers began to experiment in frictional elec- 
tricity, and so commenced the slow formation of 
the science. In 1749 Franklin announced the re- 
sults of his great experiments to the world. Cou- 
lomb, by means of the torsion-balance electrometer, 
which he invented, established the fundamental 
laws of statical electricity; and, by a number of 
beautiful experiments, furnished such convincing 
proofs in favor of the two- fluid theory that it v/as 
called after him the Coulombian theory. Coulomb 
also established the laws of magnetic attraction and 
repulsion. In the reduction to a science of com- 
mon, frictional, or statical electricity. Coulomb 
certainly did more than any other man. 

In 1790, when G-alvani was professor of anatomy 
at Bologna, and made his great experiment with 
frog-legs, electricity, as an experimental science, 
had almost reached a stand-still. Galvani's discov- 
ery of the convulsions of the limbs of a frog when 
accidentally touched by the conductor of a charged 

1 1 2 WJiat Catholics have done foj^ Science, 

electric machine was principally of importance in 
what it led him on to do. His great experiment 
was when he fonnd that the contact of different 
metals also caused the movements of the limbs. 
This was the beginning of galvanism, or voltaism, 
or dynamic electricity.. 

From Galvani's experiments dates a new and im- 
portant era in the world of science. Yolta contin- 
ued in the footsteps of Galvani, and made the most 
astonishing discoveries. By the power of his genius 
and his indefatigable industry he invented the 
voltaic pile, the first galvanic batterj'. With the 
galvanic battery began the extraordinary progress 
of dynamic, or current, electricity. Galvanic 
batteries rapidly grew in number and strength. 

In 1S19 Oersted of Copenhagen recognized the 
property of electro magnetism, or that the electric 
current developed magnetism, in iron. 

Ampere soon after discovered the laws of electro- 
magnetism, the mutual attraction and repulsion of 
voltaic currents, and announced his great formula 
for determining the conduct of the magnetized 
needle under the influence of these currents. 

In 1837 Faraday discovered magneto-electricity, 
or that magnetism is capable of developing electric 

Electricity, 1 1 3 

A continuous electric stream and the electro- 
magnet, tbe essentials of the telegraph, being at 
hand, that wondrous instrument was born in 1835. 
Inventors began also to devise magneto-electric 
machines, or dynamos for furnishing the electric 
light. These djnamos gradually advanced in per- 
fection, imtil the incomparable Gramme machine was 
given to the world. Finally, Gaston Plante invented 
a storage battery, or apparatus for storing electric 
energy. The Gramme machine was found to be 
reversible ; not only could it generate electricity, 
but the electric current could through its agency be 
transformed into a motive force for turning ma- 
chinery. Storage-batteries, in conjunction with the 
Gramme dynamo, have been applied to the running 
of railroad cars. Commerce has verily harnessed 
the thunderbolt. The wings of the lightning now 
bear the world's messages, and its energy may soon 
carry the world's freight. 

1 1 4 What Catholics have done for Science, 

Calbani antr Uolta* 

HE labors of Galvani and Yolta fnrnislied 
a constant stream of electricity. Gal- 
vanic or voltaic electricity is also called 
dynamic electricity, or electricity in m.otion, to dis- 
tinguish it from frictional electricity, which is said 
to be statical, or bonnd. 

Electricity, to be of value in commerce, must 
flow in a continuous current. The electricity em- 
ployed in telegraphic communication is the result 
of chemical action, and is galvanism. When strips 
of dissimilar metals are held upright and apart in a 
glass vessel containing acidulated water, and their 
extremities external to the liquid joined by wire, 
they produce an electric current. This current 
will continue as long as the acid acts on the metals, 
or until the acid is exhausted. A combination of 
this kind is called a galvanic pair, or battery. There 
are many varieties of galvanic batteries, depending 
on the metals and acids employed. 

Galvaiii and Volta. 115 

Daniell's 'consists of copper and zinc, and sul- 
phuric acid ; Grove's, of platinum and zinc, and 
sulphuric and nitric acids ; Bunsen's, of carbon and 
zinc, nitric and sulphuric acids. There are also 
many modifications of Daniell's extensively in use, 
as the gravity battery, Meidinger's battery, Sie 
mens-ITalske's battery, and so on. 

These batteries supply a stream of electricity, 
which, running along a wire with enormous ve- 
locity, induces magnetism, during the flow of the 
current, in soft iron bars having the wire coiled 
about them in the form of a helix. These tempo- 
rary magnets, or electro-magnets, as they are called, 
draw down a lever which produces a sound. These 
sounds are of long or short duration, according as 
the break of the current's flow is of long or short 
interval, and the sounds are language to the opera- 

All the wonderful uses of electricity in modern 
commerce date from the period between 1786 and 
1794, in which Galvani made his great discoveries. 
The convulsions produced in frog-legs by accidental 
contact with an electric machine, perceived by his 
wife and communicated by her to Galvani, led him 
to other experiments. He found that the simple 
contact of dissimilar kiietals produced twitchings 

ii6 What Catholics have done for Science, 

in the legs. This was the real beginning of the 
electricity of chemical action. The report of Gal- 
vani's experiments produced great commotion, and 
thej were repeated with enthusiasm in all parts of 

Alexander Yolta became especially interested in 
them ; and having been an ardent student of elec- 
tricity during thirty years previously, he had ac- 
quired great experimental skill in the science as 
then known. Accordingly he set to work intelli- 
gently and with invincible assiduity to push for- 
ward the experiments commenced by Galvani. He 
soon made Galvanism a new science, and actually 
invented a complete galvanic battery. This first 
battery is known as the voltaic pile, and is con- 
sidered the most extraordinary achievement of one 
man in the history of the human mind. Yolta's 
pile consisted of alternate plates of zinc and cop- 
per, with the interposition of layers of cloth satu- 
rated with acidulated water. The series proceeded 
in this wise : copp)er, zinc, cloth ; copper, zinc, 
cloth ; and so on, through thirty or forty alterna- 
tions. The first copper was connected by wire 
with the last zinc, to complete the circuit. 

The galvanic battery has certainly been much 

Galvani and Volta. 117 

perfected since the days of Yolta, for it is easy to 
add to inveutioD. We owe, however, in most 
part, the science of galvanism to these two Catholic 
scientists, Galvani and Yolta. 

ii8 What Catholics have done for Science. 


reducing electricity to a scientific form 
and establishing its laws, almost the 
|lL_^i.^ whole work was done by Coulomb and 
Ampere, both good Catholics. Charles Augustin 
de Coulomb, a native of Angouleme in France, in- 
vented, in the latter part of the last century, the 
torsion-balance electrometer, and thns furnished a.. 
very delicate means of detecting electricity and 
measuring its quantity. Coalomb's apparatus has 
played an important part in determinirg the laws 
of electric forces. 

The outer part of this electrometer consists of a 
glass cage having a long, slender glass neck. Down 
through this neck, and reaching to about the mid- 
dle of the cage, runs a light film of spun glass, 
having attached to it a liglit beam of gum-lac, end- 
ing in a gilt pith-ball. Almost in connection with 
this pith -ball is another gilt pith-ball, the terminus 

Coulomb mzd Aniplre, 1 19 

of a brass rod coming down from the top of the 
cage. This latter ball is called the carrier ball. 
The upper end of the glass thread terminates in a 
key furnished with an index moving around a 
circle graduated into 360'^. When an excited body 
touches the rod in connection with the carrier-ball, 
this ball becomes electrified, and imparts some of 
its electricity to the other pith-balL The two balls 
are thus similarly electrified, and the carrier-ball, 
being stationary, repels the other ball. The key 
at the top is turned until, by twisting the glass 
him, the two balls are again brought together. 
The number of degrees through which the key has 
to be turned to overcome the repulsion is a meas- 
ure of the torsion, and so is an approximate meas- 
ure of the quantity of electricity. 

With this apparatus Coulomb demonstrated these 
two laws : " 1. The force of attraction and repulsion 
between two electrified bodies is in the inverse 
ratio of the squares of their distance. 2. The 
distance remaining the same, the force of the 
attraction and repulsion between tv\^o electrified 
bodies is directly as the quantities of electricity 
with which they arc charged." 

Coulomb also demonstrated with his electrometer 
that electricity i*esidcs altogether on the surface of 

I20 What Catholics have done for Science. 

bodies ; for, if a solid and a hollow sphere of the 
same diameter be brought together, one having free 
electricity, the charge will be equally divided 
between them. Also when a hollow, insulated 
globe, having an aperture, was charged with elec- 
tricity, the interior surface was found by Coulomb 
to contain no free electricity. 

It is well known that an insulated electrified 
body parts slowly with its electricity. It is dissi- 
pated partly through the air and partly through the 
supports; for no substance is absolutely a non- 
conductor. Coulomb found that '' the rate of loss 
is simply proportioned to the charge or quantity of 
electricity, so that at equal intervals of time the 
charges form a decreasing geometrical series similar 
to the law of cooling bodies." 

Coulomb's is the greatest name in statical elec- 
tricity, and the two-fluid theory is called after him 
the Coulombian theory, because of the irrefragable 
proofs he furnished in its favor. Coulomb proved 
that the law of attraction and repulsion is the same 
in magnetism as in electricity. He also introduced 
into magnetism his two-fluid theory, using austral 
and boreal as the names of the respective fluids. 
Coulomb's theory of magnetism is, that a magnet is 
composed of a vast number of small elements or 

Coulomb and A mph^e, 1 2 1 

particles, each particle having an austral and boreal 
pole. The austral of one particle neutralizes the 
boreal of the adjacent particle, and so on, until the 
ultimate particles are reached, where the fluids, 
ceasing to be neutralized by any succeeding par- 
ticles, are free, and form the austral and boreal 
pole respectively. 

Andre Marie Ampere was as devoted to his re- 
ligion as he was to science, and that is saying a 
great deal. He was a native of Lyons, and flour- 
ished in the early part of this century. Ampere 
was the great discoverer of the Amperian or 
electro dynamic theory. The early students of 
magnetism and electricity perceived a strong anal- 
ogy between them. For instance, bodies similarly 
electrified repel, and dissimilarly attract, each 
other. And so the like poles of a magnet repel, 
and the unlike attract, each other. Accordingly 
strenuous efforts were made to either prove the 
identity of magnetism and electricity, or to deter- 
mine their relationship to one another. The re- 
sults were entirely unsatisfactory previous to the 
year 1819. In that year, Professor Oersted of Co- 
penhagen, in one of his experiments, perceived that 
a current of electricity passing along a wire running 
parallel to a compass-needle caused the needle to 

122 JJViaf Catholics have done for Science. 

place itself at right angles to the direction of the 
wire. This news created much interest in England, 
France, and Germany, and the electricians of these 
countries attacked with fresh vigor the qnestion of 
this relationship between magnetism and electricity. 

The one who outstripped all others in his avidity 
to solve the problem was Ampere. So great was 
his mathematical sagacity and philosophical acu- 
men, that in a very short rime he develo^Ded the 
whole subject, and elevated electro-rtiagnetism to 
the rank of a new science. 

Ampere discovered that parallel wii-es bearing 
currents of electricity in the same direction attract, 
and currents in opposite directions repel, each 
other. His theory of magnetism is, that a magnet- 
ized bai' consists in currents of electricity revolv- 
ing at right angles to the length of the bar around 
each particle of the metal, the resultant of which 
would be a great current running around the cir- 
cumference of the bai'. 

Ampere considered that the magnetism of the 
earth consists in electric currents mnning around 
it from east to west. According to the theory of 
Ampere, it will be easily seen how the effect of the 
earth's magnetism on the needle is neither attrac- 
tive nor repellent, but directive. Ampere's great 

Coulo7nb and A mplre. 1 2 3 

formula for the movement of the magnetized 
needle under the influence of a parallel wire bear- 
ing an electric current is as follows : Let any one 
suppose himself to be lying in the direction of the 
positive current, his head representing the copper, 
and his feet the zinc, and looking at the needle, its 
north pole will always move toward the right hand. 
Ampere was a most beautiful scientific character. 

124 What Catholics have done fo?' Science, 


LECTKICITY has a variety of names. 
One of them is electro-magnetism. Elec- 
tro-magnetism is induced in a piece of 
soft iron when a wire in the form of a helix runs 
around it carrying a galvanic current. The soft 
iron becomes, during the passage of the current, 
an electro-magnet. 

Another is magneto-electi'icity. When a magnet 
is inserted in a wire coiled as a helix, it induces a 
temporary electric current in the wire. "When the 
magnet is mth drawn, it induces another tempo- 
rary current in a direction opposite to the first. 
This induced current is called magneto -electricity. 
If the magnet be " repeatedly inserted and with- 
drawn, a series of currents will be produced in the 

If an electro-magnet be rapidly revolved on an 
axis in front of the poles of a large permanent 
magnet, a series of induced currents will be mani- 

Graifi77ze aiici Plante. 125 

f ested in the wire of the electro-magnet ; for, when 
the poles of the electro-magnet come just opposite 
those of the permanent magnet, the electro-magnet 
will be magnetized, and induce a current in its 
helix. When the poles are separated by the revo- 
lution of the electro-magnet, the electro-magnet dis- 
charges its magnetism, and so induces a current in 
the helix in a direction opposite to the previous 
current. There are thus in every revolution of the 
electro-magnet four induced currents, two in one 
direction, and two in the opposite. 

By constructing an apparatus in such a v/ay that 
an electro -magnet may be rapidly revolved in the 
vicinity of the poles of a large, fixed, permanent 
magnet, with the addition to the axis of the electro- 
magnet of a commutator, or a break-piece composed 
of alternate ribs of copper and ivory, great streams 
of electricity, and in one direction only, may be 
generated. An instrument of this kind is called a 
magneto-electric, or dynamo-electric, machine^ or 
simply dynamo, for brevity. Dynamos are multi- 
ple in form, and have reached great perfection. 
Dynamo is from the Greek dunamis^ power, and is 
applied to electricity in motion, in contradistinc- 
tion to that in the bound or static condition. N'o 
battery can be constituted to compete with them in 

126 What Catholics have done for Science. 

power; and thej are mucli more economical and 
far less troublesome than batteries. Thougb differ- 
ing mncli in model and variety of structure, all 
dynamos depend on the same principle of magneto- 
electric induction. 

Several scientists have given their names to dy- 
namos, but Gramme, of Paris, has given us by far 
the most celebrated and, indeed, useful one of them 
all. His instrument supplies a powerful current, 
and in a single direction, without the aid of commu- 
tators. Instead of an electro- magnet or other arma- 
ture revolving before and in the immediate vicinity 
of the poles of a permanent m.agnet, the Gramme 
instrument has a wheel revolving vertically be- 
tween the arms of a vertical permanent magnet. 
This wheel acts the part of armature, and is com- 
posed of an annular band of soft iron, wound 
around with several separate bobbins of insulated 
copper wire, whose ends terminate in radial copper 
bands insulated from each other. This armature 
acts the part of a combination battery, each bobbin 
performing the office of a separate cell having its 
positive and negative poles. During the revolu- 
tions of the wheel, the electricity is carried off from 
each side of the vertical line by wire brushes. The 
vertical is the dividing line between the two halves 

Gramme and Plantd, 1 2 7 

of the circuit. A constant, steady, powerful cur- 
rent of electricity is thus generated. 

The superiority of the Gramme dynamos rests in 
the low rate of speed necessary, and the freedom 
from commutators. Other dynamos require in the 
neighborhood of two thousand revolutions in a 
minute for effective work, causing thus a rapid 
heating up and wearing away of the machine. The 
Gramme dynamos can do all necessary work with a 
speed of three hundred revolutions in a minute, 
and generate a constant, even current, without 

Probably the greatest scientific discovery of the 
last half hundred years is that the Gramme ma- 
chine is reversible, and can be used as an electro- 
motor, as it is called. If two dynamos are so em- 
ployed that the current from the armature of one 
may pass into the armature of the other the elec- 
tricity generated by the motion of one will move 
the other. The dynamo may thus be used as a 
motive force, or electro-motor. Dynamos are so 
used to work machinery and run cars. 

One of the recent and most useful discoveries of 
science is storage of electricity. It may be con- 
sidered the greatest scientific achievement of the 
last quarter of a century. By the storage of elec- 

128 What Catholics have done for Science. 

tricitj is meant the accumulation of a quantity of 
electric energy to be afterwards used at conven- 
ience. A storage-battery, called also a secondary 
battery, is an apparatus for transforming electricity. 

The storage of electricity is not the actual gath- 
ering up of the fluid itself, as is done in the Leyden 
jar, or prime conductor, but the storing up of en- 
ergy. "When we wind ujd the spring of a clock, 
the force or energy requisite to do so is stored 
away, to be used afterward in running the clock. 
When we turn a crank to draw up the iron hammer 
of a pile-driver, we have so much energy stored 
away, to be employed in driviug down the pile. 
So when, by the force of the electric current, we 
separate substances that have a great chemical af- 
finity, the force being removed, these substances 
combine again, regenerating the same quantity of 
electricity that it required to separate them. 

In m.echanics it is often desirable to transform 
force into speed, or again speed into force. So, in 
electricity tension may be transformed into quan- 
tity, and quantity again into tension. The very 
life of the secondary, or storage, battery hangs on 
the principle, "-To every action there is an equal 
and contrary reaction." Without reaction, we 
would have no storage of energy. In a Daniell's 

Gramme and Plants. 1 29 

cell zinc is eaten away, and pure copper deposited. 
Bv forcing a current of electricity back through 
the cell, the copper will be eaten away, and zinc 
deposited. In the deposition of the pure zinc we 
actually store energy ; for, when the pressure is 
removed, the affinity of the oxygen for the zinc, 
being free to assert itself, will cause their reunion, 
and so will generate the same quantity of electricity 
that was required for the deposition. 

The chemical affinity of the zinc for the oxygen 
is called its polarization. The force w^hich sepa- 
rates the zinc from combination is called the electro- 
motive force ; and the zinc's tendency to resist this 
force, or indeed its polarization, is called its counter- 
electro-m.otive force. The storage of electricity is 
the overcoming of this polarization, or counter- 
electro-motive force. 

A storage-battery consists of two plates of lead 
placed in a vessel containing acidulated water. A 
current of electricity is sent, by means of an or- 
dinary galvanic battery, from one plate of lead to 
the other. The current decomposes the water, 
sending the oxygen to one plate and the hydrogen 
to the other. The oxygen combines with the lead, 
forming peroxide of lead ; and the hydrogen, reach- 
ing the other plate, decomposes any salt of lead it 

130 l]^hat CatJwlics have done for Science, 

may find there, precipitating pure lead, or other- 
wise escaping in the form of gas. The current is 
then reversed, and driven through the arrangement 
in the opposite direction. The current is thus re- 
versed several times, in order to prepare the storage- 
battery, by making the surfaces of the lead plates 
porous, and so capable of holding a great quantity 
of peroxide of lead. 

If the lead plates be connected by wire, after 
the battery has been charged the oxygen that had 
been forcibly driven from its combination in the 
liquid seeks to recombine, just as a stone forcibly 
lifted from the earth seeks to return, and the effect 
of this tendency of the oxygen is to generate an 
electric current in the opposite direction to the origi- 
nal one. This is the current that has been stored, 
and is to be utilized as storage. 

Gaston Plante. a Catholic of Brussels, made the 
first storage-battery in 1859. It consisted of two 
sheets of lead, about three and one quarter feet 
square, rolled in a cylinder, and placed in a jar 
filled with dilute sulphuric acid. Strips of felt 
were placed between the lead sheets. He prepared 
his battery for use, by sending the current from 
three Grove cells through it several times in oppo- 
site directions. He then charged it, and permitted 

Gramme and Plantd. 1 3 1 

it to so stand for a short time ; he finally discharged 
it, and it was ready for use. 

When the storage- battery is charged, and its 
poles connected, it works like any other battery. 
The metallic lead, combining with the acid, forms 
sulphate of lead ; the liberated hydrogen takes the 
oxygen from the peroxide of lead on the other 
plate, forming water. When both the lead plates 
are reduced to the same condition, the battery is 

The invention of storage, or secondary, batteries 
and the application of the Gramme machine as an 
electro-motor, taken together, may soon supplant 
steam in commerce. For these two great features 
of recent practical science we are indebted to two 
Catholic gentlemen, Gramme and Plante. 

132 What Catholics have done for Science. 


EAK BAPTISTE BIOT was a great 
Catholic physicist of the first half of 
this century. He was a member of the 
French Academy, and professor of physics in the 
College de France. He contributed much to the 
advancement of electric science, and particularly in 
practically verifying the magnetic theory of Cou- 
lomb. In this connection, he demonstrated that on 
an elliptical spheroid the thickness of the fluid in 
the direction of the radius would be as the distance 
from the center. 

The immortal Descartes, the father of " Analyti- 
cal Geometr}^," labored zealously in the field of 
magnetism, and attempted to explain magnetic 
phenomena by the doctrine of vortices, or ethereal 
currents. If a magnet be placed among iron filings, 
these arrange themselves in curved lines, which 
proceed from one pole of the magnet to the other. 
It was not difficult to conceive these to be the traces 

Other Catholic Electricians. 133 

of currents of ethereal matter which circulate 
through the magnet, and which are thus rendered 
sensible even to the eye. This theory of Descartes, 
though successful enough to be awarded the prize 
of the French Academy of Sciences for the year 
1746, was soon superseded by the Coulombian 

The electric spark from a living body was first 
observed by the Abbe ISTollet. 

Nollet says he " shall never forget the surprise 
which the first electric spark ever drawn from the 
human body excited, both in M. Dufay and in 
himself." Soon after his discovery, JSTollet sent the 
shock through a circle of one hundred and eighty 
men of the guards, in the presence of the king of 

In the early construction of telegraph lines, two 
wires were used to connect the stations. After- 
wards the eartli was substituted for the returning 
w^ire. The Abbe Caselli made some very striking 
experiments to show that the earth acted the part 
of a great electric reservoir, rather than that of a 
conductor. Caselli invented the pan-telegraph, 01 
electro-chemical copying telegraph. In 1850 he 
first experimented with it in Florence, Italy. For 
several years following he devoted himself to the 

J 34 What Catholics have done for Science, 

improvement and perfection of his invention, and 
in 1865 it was introduced into practical service both 
in France and Russia. 

Leon Foucault, a French Catholic, was one of the 
greatest physicists of this century. Although he 
devoted himself principally to optics, and did his 
greatest work in that science, still he did much for 
electricity, and invented the first electric lamp, in 

When the wire joining the poles of a strong 
galvanic battery, or Gramme machine, is severed, 
and the ends only slightly parted, the current still 
continues to flow, forcing its way through the 
intervening air. The resistance of the air, however, 
produces the most intense heat and light. So great 
is the heat that it fuses platinum as readily as a 
candle-flame melts wax. It will be easily understood 
that the light and heat cease almost im.mediately 
after the parting of the ends of the severed wire, 
because the wire itself is so rapidly consumed by 
the intense heat that the distance between the ends 
grows quickly so great as to prevent the passage 
of the current. Carbon is the only substance that 
resists fusion by the heat of the voltaic arc, as it is 
called. So that carbon electrodes, or points, must 
be used to sustain the liglit for any length of time. 

Other Catholic Electricians, 135 

Previous to 1844 the electric light had occasionally 
been used in laboratory experiments. In these 
experiments the light lived but a very short time, 
as the electrodes used were made of pencils of soft 
v7ood-charcoal, which wasted rapidly. Foucaiilt 
substituted for this soft charcoal the hard gas-carbon 
that is found deposited in the interior of retorts 
used in manufacturing illuminating-gas. Even this 
hard carbon was found to waste away slowly, the 
positive electrode diminishing twice as fast as the 
negative. The carbon is not burned, but it seems 
that its particles are carried over from the positive 
to the negative pole, thus, in a manner, forming a 
conductor for the passage of the electric current. 
Foucault contrived mechanism to automatically 
regulate the distance between the carbon points. 
By keeping the electrodes at a uniform distance, he 
prevented the rupture of the current and obtained 
a continuous flame. Foucault's regulator consisted 
of two systems of automatic wheel-work, one for 
bringing the carbon points together when it was 
wished to start the light, and the other for separat- 
ing and maintaining them at tlie proper distance. 
This apparatus of Foucault was the first electric 

For the electrodes used by Foucault the carbon 

6 What Catholics have do7te for Science, 

was sawed into slabs, and then into pencils. This 
was both expensive and laborious. Great improve- 
ments were soon made in the manufacture of the 
pencils, for, while the price was greatly reduced, 
they still remained suflSciently hard. The essen- 
tial composition of these improved pencils is 
powdered carbon, mixed with pressed coke, lamp- 
black, and tar. They are now molded instead of 
being cut. The first and most famous manufacturer 
of these carbons was M. Carre, a French Catholic. 

Another Catholic electrician known to fame is 
ISTobili. He made many very interesting experi- 
ments in animal electricity, and left to his successors 
many most important facts relating to this branch 
of electric science. He devised the thermo-electric 
pile, or battery, consisting of alternate layers of 
bismuth and antimony. This pile of l^obili is of 
great utility in detecting the minutest changes of 
temperature, and is destined to play an important 
part in physiological researches. Among the names 
of Catholic electricians, those of Melloni and Dr. 
Antonio Pacinotti are conspicuous. 

Chemistry. - 137 


]F all the nations of antiquity, the Egyp- 
tians had the fairest knowledge of chem- 
istry. They excelled in the reduction 
of metals from their ores, making metallic alloys, 
and working metals. They were skilled in dyeing, 
and in the preparation of mordants. 

The Chinese also were early acquainted with 
many chemical facts. Early in the eighth century, 
the Arabs began to study chemistry with great 
avidity, and speedily carried a portion of their 
knowledge into Europe. This was the tiny origin 
of European alchemy, which rapidly grew into gi- 
gantic proportions and continued to flourish for a 
thousand years. 

Alchemy had the twofold aim of the transmu- 
tation of the baser metals into silver and gold, and 
the indefinite prolongation of human life. There 
was a really meritorious class of alchemists, who 
paved the way for genuine chemistry. But an- 

138 What Catholics have done for Science. 

other class, composed of designing knaves who had 
recourse to quackery and imposture, to dupe the 
credulous and avaricious, brought the name of al- 
chemy into disrepute. 

The domain of chemistry is an extensive one in- 
deed. " I^ature is composed of certain elementary 
bodies or elements. The knowledge of these 
bodies, of their mutual combinations, of the forces 
by which these combinations are brought abont, 
and of the laws in accordance with which these 
forces act, constitutes chemistry." This is the defi- 
nition of one of the very ablest of chemists. Chem- 
istry, as a science, may be said to have taken its 
first real step in Germany early in the eighteenth 
century, with the appearance of the phlogistic the- 
ory of Stahl. Phlogiston was a hypothetical ele- 
ment, which, by combining with a body, rendered 
it combustible ; and which, by its disengagement 
from the body, occasions combustion, leaving a 
residue of an acid or an earth. Combustion, ac- 
cording to the phlogistic theory, was a decomposi- 
tion, a loss of some element, and consequently a 
decrease in weight. It is now known that the very 
contrary is true ; that in combustion an element is 
added, instead of one being taken away. The 
phlogistic theory formed an epoch in chemistry. 

Chemistry, 139 

The next great step, or rather leap, in chemistry 
was caused by the Lavoisierian theory, or the the- 
ory of oxygen. This was truly the greatest epoch 
in the history of chemistry. There probably never 
was produced such a complete revolution in any 
science as this theory of Lavoisier produced in 
chemistry. Its beauty, striking truth, and simplic- 
ity carried all before it. To this very day, the 
system of Lavoisier remains as the skeleton of the 
science. Lavoisier showed that, in the calcination 
of metals in air, the metal acquires as much weight 
as the air loses. He also showed that atmospheric 
air consists of pure or vital air and of an unvital 
air, which he called azot and which is now known 
as nitrogen. The vital air he discovered to be the 
agent in combustion, respiration, calcination, and 
acidification ; and that all these processes consisted 
in a decomposition of the atmospheric air, and a fix- 
ation of the pure or vital portion of it. Where, 
according to the phlogistic theory, phlogiston was 
subtracted, he found that this vital air was added ; 
and where the phlogiston was added, the vital air 
subtracted. He gave the name of oxygen to " the 
substance which thus unites itself with metals to 
form their calces (ores), and with combustible sub- 
stances to form acids." 

140 What Catholics have done for Science, 

In harmony with the oxygen theory, Lavoisier 
and his friends constructed a nomenclature, which 
was then extremely necessary. This nomenclature 
soon made its way into general use. For half a 
century it was universally employed, and was 
found to be more effective and useful than any no- 
menclature in any science had ever been before. 

The next great era in chemistry was introduced 
by the atomic theory of an English Quaker, the 
meek and patient Dalton. This theory announced 
that matter consists of ultimate particles, or atoms, 
incapable of division. These elementary atoms 
combine, in certain fixed proportions, to form com- 
pound bodies. The proportions in which the ele- 
ments combine depend on the weight and not the 
volume, and are regulated by these four laws : 
"The law of definite proportions, or a compound 
of two or more elements, is always formed by the 
union of certain definite and unalterable propor- 
tions of its constituent elements ; the law of mul- 
tiple proportions, which requires that when two 
bodies unite in more proportions than one, these 
proportions bear some simple relation to each other ; 
the law of equivalent proportions, according to 
which, when a body (A) unites with other bodies 
(B, C, D), the proportions in which B, C, and D 

Chemistry. 141 

unite with A shall represent in numbers the pro- 
portions in which they will unite among them- 
selves, in case such union takes place ; the law of 
the combining numbers of compounds, by which 
the combining proportion of a compound body is 
the sum of the combining weights of its several 

The application of the galvanic current to the 
resolution of bodies into their constituents intro- 
duced electro-chemistry. This field of chemistry 
has been wonderfully developed by the most 
patient and thorough research. The great princi- 
ple of the identity of electrical and chemical action 
has been completely established. 

Chemistry, at the present time, is in altogether a 
transitional state. This is due principally to great 
advances made recently in organic chemistry by 
Dumas and his associates. A new nomenclature is 
being constructed, but is as yet in an unsettled con- 
dition. The atomic theory, however, with but 
slight alteration, still holds its own. 

42 What Catholics have done for Scieitce, 


founder of modern chemistry, was born 
in Paris, in August, 1743. The name 
of this Catholic physicist is, beyond dispute, the 
greatest in chemistry ; and it is safe to say that 
none of the great sciences is as much indebted to 
a single man as chemistry is to Lavoisier. Lavoi- 
sier was a thorough enthusiast in the pursuit of 
chemistry ; his very heart was in the science. 

His father, being a man of means, was able to 
permit his son to devote untrammeled his time and 
energies to his favorite pursuit. Lavoisier gathered 
around him some of the most brilliant chemists of 
the time, and together they prosecuted in his labo- 
ratory a series of most successful experiments. 

One of the greatest merits of Lavoisier, as it is 
of every inductive philosopher, was his power of 
generalization. Indeed, he possessed it in a most 

Lavoisier. 143 

remarkable degree. Taking his own and his pre- 
decessors' experimental discoveries, he generalized 
their results into his theory of oxygen. 

Lavoisier's was the extraordinary merit of in- 
troducing the balance into the laboratory, and so 
causing the great importance of quantitative analy- 
sis to be recognized. By means of this analysis, 
he perceived that the increase of weight acquired 
by a given weight of metal when oxidized dis- 
proved the whole theory of phlogiston. He 
showed that the products of combustion weigh ex- 
actly as much as the sum of the weight of the sub- 
stance consumed, plus the weight of the matter ab- 
sorbed from the air. He also demonstrated the 
important truth, that wherever an increase of 
weight occurs combination must have taken place, 
and that the weight of the product of such com- 
bination is equal to the sum of the weights of its 
ingredients ; while loss of weight is due to the 
separation of ponderable matter. 

His original experiment, in which he proved 
that the increase of weight in an oxidized metal is 
due to its absorption of gas, was made with tin. 
He placed a given weight of metallic tin in. a 
sealed retort, and weighed the whole. He then 
applied heat to the retort until the tin was melted, 

144 What Catholics have done for Science. 

and more or less oxidized by absorbing the air in 
the retort. When he again weighed the retort, he 
found the weight unchanged. But, on removing 
the seal and opening the apparatus, the outside air 
rushed in to replace the absorbed air. He then 
weighed the retort, and found an increase of weight 
equal to the amount of air absorbed by the tin in 
its process of oxidation. 

Lavoisier distinguished among chemical elements 
a number that ought to be regarded as simple, such 
as oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen ; and also origi- 
nated the method, still in use, of decomposing 
organic substances. He and his associates formed 
a nomenclature founded on his oxygen theory. In 
this nomenclature, naturally enough great promi- 
nence is given to oxygen, as it was thought by the 
founders that most of the known acids and bases 
contained it. Indeed, the compounds of oxygen 
formed the basis of the system. In this nomencla- 
ture the name of a compound generally indicates 
its com.position. Thus, the name oxide of iron in- 
dicates that that substance contains oxygen and 
iron. When metalloids, as they are called, unite; 
with oxygen to form acids, the termination marks 
the character of the acid. Thus, sulphur com- 
bined with oxygen in two different proportions 


Lavoisier. 145 

fo iS two acids, the siilpliiir6>i^5 and sulphunc ; and 
th je acids form with bases respectively snlph^^^s 
ai.l %-\A^ates. Similarly as oxygen forms oxides, 
eilorine forms chlorides ; bromine, bromides ; 
icline, iodides; fluorine, fluorides; nitrogen, ni- 
t]des; carbon, carbides or carburets; sulphur, sul- 
piides or sulphurets; selenium, selenides or sele- 
n urets ; phosphorus, phosphides or phosphurets. 
^'^nlorine with oxygen forms chlor^^r^^ and chloHc 
acids; and these with bases, okAoixites and chlor^z^^^, 
and so on. 

The learned Whewell pays this tribute to the 
greatest of chemists: ^' The originality of the 
theory of oxygen is proved by the conflict, short as 
it was, which accompanied its promulgation ; its 
importance is shown by the changes which it soon 
occasioned in every part of the science. Thus La- 
voisier, far more fortunate than most of those who 
had, in earlier ages, produced revolutions in science, 
saw his theory accepted by all the most eminent 
men of his time, and established over a great part 
of Europe within a few years from its first pro- 
mulgation. In the common course of events, it 
might have been expected that the later years of 
his life would have been spent amid the admiration 
and reverence which naturally wait upon the patri- 

146 What Catholics have do7ie for Sctent 

arcli of a new system of acknowledged truths, 
the times in wliicli lie lived allowed no such / 
thanasia to eminence of any kind. The democra. 
which overthrew the ancient political institutio?'< 
of France, and swept away the nobles of the lard, 
was not, as might have been expected, enthusiastic 
in its admiration of a great revolution in science, 
and forward to offer its homage to the genuii 3 
nobility of a great discoverer. Lavoisier was 
thrown into prison on some wretched charge of 
having, in the discharge of a public office which he 
had held, adulterated certain tobacco ; but in 
reality for the purpose of confiscating his property. 
In his imprisonment, his philosophy was his re- 
source ; and he employed himself in the prepara- 
tion of his papers for printing. When he was 
brought before tlie revolutionary tribunal, he 
begged for a respite of a few days, in order to com- 
plete some researches, the results of which were, he 
said, important to the good of humanity. The 
brutish idiot whom the state of the country at that 
time had placed in the judgment-seat told him that 
the republic wanted no sgavaus. He was dragged 
to the guillotine. May 8, 1794, and beheaded, 
in the fifty-second year of his age ; a melancholy 
proof that, in periods of political ferocity, inno- 

Lavoisier. 147 

xe and merit, private virtues and public services, 
Jiiable manners and the love of friends, literary 
ime and exalted genius, are all as nothing to pro- 
ject their possessor from the last extremes of vio- 
lence and wrong, inflicted under judicial forms." 

14-8 What Catholics have done fo7' Science. 


HE alchemists thought that all the metals 
were composed of two constituents, sul- 
phur and mercury, and that the nature 
of the metal depended upon the relative quantity 
and purity of these components. The leading tenet 
in the alchemist's creed, the doctrine of the transmu- 
tability of other metals into gold and silver, sprung 
from the belief that there were very few elemen- 
tary bodies in nature. It is cuiious that the most 
advanced chemistry of the present day is going 
back to alchemy. Our leading speculative chemists 
are growing more and more of the opinion that 
many substances, hitherto regarded as chemically 
distinct, are only the same substance under a differ- 
ent arrangement of its component particles. They 
think that the number of really distinct elements 
is very few indeed. This belief has arisen from 
the study of the phenomena of allotropy. The 
allotropic condition of a body is the a^^pearance of 


Other Catholic Chemists. 149 

the very same body under a different form alto- 
gether. Thus carbon appears as the diamond, and 
also as charcoal and lampblack. Phosphorus, sul- 
phur, and oxygen, among other elements, are re- 
markable for their allotro pic conditions, and, though 
remaining the same substance essentially, appear 
under different forms. 

It was by the gradual collection and explanation 
of chemical facts that chemistry became a science. 
Many of these facts have come down from the 
earliest times. Whosoever has added, by his dis- 
covery, to the common treasury of these facts, 
whether he is known as chemist or alchemist, has 
helped the cause of chemistry, and is entitled to 
the gratitude of mankind. 

Among the greatest of the alchemists was Roger 
Bacon, a Franciscan monk (1214:-1284), and a na- 
tive of Somersetshire, England. This Friar Bacon 
was a most extraordinary genius, and is said to 
have made many chemical discoveries. He speaks 
in such a manner of an inextinguishable fire as to 
leave the impression that he was acquainted with 
phosphorus. He certainly knew the composition 
of gunpowder, for he distinctly says that thunder 
and lightning could be imitated by means of salt- 
peter, sulphur, and charcoal. 

150 What Catholics have do7ie for Science. 

A contemporary of Bacon was Albertus Magnus 
(1205-1280), and an alchemist of the highest re- 
nown. Albertus was a great master of the prac- 
tical chemistry of his time. He believed that 
water was the most elementary of bodies, and 
nearer the soul of nature than any other substance. 

Another of the great alchemists was Raymond 
Lully (1234-1315), a native of Majorca, and called 
'' the enlightened doctor." His is the credit of hav- 
ing first employed chemical symbols. 

A great name in alchemy is that of Basil Valen- 
tine (b. 139i). His practical knowledge of the 
chemistry of his day was very great, and he is re- 
garded as the founder of analytical chemistry. He 
introduced the use of antimony into medicine, and 
considered salt, sulphur, and mercury as the sole 
components of all metallic bodies. 

Agricola (1190-1555) greatly excelled in that de- 
partment of chemistry known as metallurgy. He 
is, indeed, regarded as the founder of this branch 
of the great chemical science. He pursued his 
specialty with great enthusiasm and industry, and 
became exceedingly distinguished in it. 

Among the early chemists, the Catholic name of 
Yan Helmont (1577-1611) is one of the most 
famous. His is the merit of having introduced the 

Other Catholic Chemists. 151 

term gas into chemistrj. He describes many dif- 
ferent kinds of gases, and distinguishes them from 
watery vapor. He rejected many of the tenets of 
the alchemists, and refused to admit that sulphur, 
mercury, and salt were the elementary ingredients 
of all substances, and more especially of animal 
bodies. He looked upon water as the primary ele- 
ment of all things. 

It is conceded that France has done more for the 
philosophy of chemistry in recent years than any 
other country. And the great French chemists have 
nearly all been children of the Church. Among 
them, the name of Dumas must be placed with the 
very first. His labors in organic chemistry have 
been productive of the most important results. 
He was the author of the theory of *' substitu- 
tions," according to which hydrogen may be re- 
placed, equivalent for equivalent, by some other 
element or group of elements, while the properties 
of the original substance remain usually unchanged. 
He invented an ingenious apparatus for finding the 
specific gravity of vapors, which has been of great 
value to chemists. His investigations upon ether, 
volatile oils, and wood-spirit are among his most 
important ones. 

Antoine Cesar Becquerel's researches in electro- 

152 What Catholics have done for Science. 

chemistry were so numerous and important that he 
is justly considered the creator of this branch of 
chemical science. He applied electro-chemistry to 
the reproduction of mineral substances, and to 
treating by the humid way silver, lead, and copper 
ores. Aluminum, silicon, glucinum, galena, mala- 
chite, calcareous spar, dolomite, metallic phosphates, 
crystallized silica, and numerous metallic sulphu- 
rets are among some of the new substances Bec- 
querel succeeded in obtaining, through the agency 
of electricity. The labors of this great Catholic 
chemist were extraordinary, and his discoveries very 
many and very valuable. 

In the physico-chemical school, the discovery by 
Dulong and Petit of the relation between the spe- 
cific heats and equivalent weights of substances is 
especially valuable. A devout French Catholic, 
Michel Eugene Chevreul, is probably the greatest 
living chemist. The centenary of this remarkable 
man was celebrated by the French people with the 
most prodigious enthusiasm on the 31st of last 
August. His services to chemistry have reached 
all its departments and been em.inently practical. 

Chevreul was the first practical expositor of that 
wonderful substance, glycerine, so useful in soap- 
manufacture, medicine, and commerce generally. 

Other Catholic Chemists. 153 

He achieved his greatest successes, however, in the 
ai't of dyeing and the practice of candle-raaldng. 
He devoted himself witli great diligence to the 
investigation of animal fats, and nothing of impor- 
tance in this connection escaped his acute observa- 
tion. To his researches we owe, among other things, 
stearine candles. 

He gave long and earnest study to the subject of 
color, and particularly in its relations to harmony 
and contrast. His observations on colors are de- 
veloped in one of his chief works, " The Princi- 
ples of Colors in their Application to the Arts." 

Indeed, nothing in chromatics was unworthy of 
his notice. He laid down rules for the distribution 
of colors in carpets, paper-hangings, mosaics, and 
printed calicoes ; in the decorations of the interiors 
of churches, museums, galleries, and libraries. 
This great philosopher has done much toward 
refining the tastes and ameliorating the social con- 
dition of his fellow-beings. 

M. Chevreul is a pious Catholic with a most 
sincere faith. A worthy priest relates the following 
instance of his devotion to the Blessed Yiririn: 
" Some three or four years ago, the savant was pass- 
ing through the little town of Dourdan, numbering 
about two thousand souls. In the afternoon of the 

154 What Catholics have done for Science. 

same day the cure, entering his church, perceived 
an old man kneeling before Our Lady's altar, say- 
ing his Rosarj. Xot wishing to disturb the 
stranger^s devotion, he simply bo\Yed, and retired 
to say his Office. When the old gentleman had 
finished his beads, he went up to the priest. " Mon- 
sieur le cure," he said, courteously, "you are per- 
haps astonished to find a stranger in your chm^ch at 
this hour. I am M. Chevreul ; I have missed tlie 
train, and while waiting for the next I thought I 
could make no better use of my time than by com- 
ing here to pray to Our Lady." 

Chemistry being a French science is particularly 
rich in great Catholic names ; and to undertake to 
do them justice in a few short chapters would be 
utterly futile. It is therefore understood that but 
a meagre relation of the achievements of a few of 
the very greatest chemists whose contributions were 
such as to form epochs in the science has been here 

Mmeralogy. 155 


INERALOGY is a classificatorj science, 
and teaches how to distinguish the dif- 
ferent kinds of minerals. The science 
is confined to simple minerals, or homogeneous 
mineral substances. Some mineralogists have con- 
sidered only the chemical composition of minerals, 
and were solely thereby influenced in their classifi- 
cation. Others regarded only their external char- 
acters, and in their classifying were governed ac- 
cordingly. Recently, scientists have aimed at a 
combination of both these methods. 

The greatest difiiculty has been experienced in 
attempting a classification of the mineral kingdom 
on chemical grounds, owing to the boundless va- 
riety of the combinations of the elements and the 
almost invariable presence of foreign bodies, that 
often entirely change the character of the mineral. 
Hence the chemical classification is very far from 

156 What Catholics have done for Science. 

The most marked of the external characters of 
minerals is their crystalline form. Bj applying 
ciystallographv to the classification of minerals, and 
thus introducing into it geometrical relations and 
figures, mineralogy has been reduced, in great meas- 
ure and as far as crystalline form is apphcable, to 
an exact science. 

The principle of crystallography, as assumed by 
Hauy, is that the same chemical elements, com- 
bined in the same proportions, will always exhibit 
the same crystalline form ; and, reciprocally, that 
the same form and angles imply the same chemical 
constitution. There are many exceptions, however, 
to this rule. One is that of isomorj^hism, where 
one body can replace another in combination, with- 
out changing the crystalline form. The chemical 
composition may be changed, while the form of 
the crystal remains the same as before. Another 
remarkable exception is dimorphism, where the 
same compound has two different forms, as, for in- 
tance, the carbonate of lime, appearing as calc-spar 
and arragonite ; these crystals, though the same 
compound, ha\ ing entirely different shapes. 

A crystal is any inorganic substance bounded by 
plane surfaces arranged with system and of homo- 
geneous structure. There is a great variety of 

Mineralogy. 1 5 7 

crjstalliue forms. Crystallography treats of the 
form, structure, and formation of crystals. J^early 
all inorganic substances are capable of crystalliza- 
tion. Bodies may be crystallized principally in 
three ways. The most ordinary way is by solution. 
Warm water has greater solvent powers than cold 
water. Y/hen a warm saturated solution of a salt 
is permitted to cool, a portion of the salt is precipi- 
tated in tlie form of crystals. Another mode of 
crystallization is to fuse the substance, such as sul- 
phur, and then allow a portion of it to solidify. 
By breaking a part of the crust and pouring out 
the liquid, a number of crystals will be found 
lining the interior. The third process is by vapor- 
ization and subsequent condensation. Snow-crys- 
tals are obtained from the vapor of water, by its 

Though there are some thousands of crystalline 
forms in nature, they can all be reduced to six 
geometrical classes. The first class is called the 
isometric, or monometric, and its crystals have 
-three equal axes at right angles to one another. 
The second class is called dimetric, and has one 
variable axis and two equal axes, and all the axes 
intersect at right angles. The third class is the tri- 
metric, and has three axes of unequal length, but 

158 What Catholics have doiie for Scie7icp-. 

intersecting each other at right angles. The fourth 
class is the monoclinic, and has three axes which 
may be of unequal lengths, two of which are at 
right angles to each other, but the third axis is 
perpendicular to one of these, and oblique to the 
other. The fifth is the triclinic, and has all the 
axes of. unequal length, and all are obliquely in- 
clined to each other. The sixth class is the hexag- 
onal, and has four axes, three in the same plane 
and inclined to each other at an angle of 60°, 
whilst the fourth axis is at right angles to the other 

In each of the classes there is a fundamental 
form, the other forms included in the class being 
regarded as secondary. The fundamental forms 
are the cube, square, prism, right rectangular 
prism, oblique rhombic prism, oblique rliomboidal 
prism, and hexagonal prism. The following 
bodies, in the order of mention, are examples of 
each of these classes of crystals respectively : com- 
mon salt, calomel, sulphur, carbonate of soda, sul- 
phate of copper, and ice. 

" The structure of crystals is often seen by lines 
on their surfaces, or by the ease with which the 
crystal splits in certain directions. Common mica 

Mineralogy, 159 

cleaves in leaves; galena breaks only in cubes, 
fluor-spar in octaliedra, calc-spar only in rliombo- 
hedrons. This property is called cleavage. It 
does not exist in all crystals, and is not of equal 
facility in all directions. Thus, in mica cleavage 
is easy in one direction only ; while in fluor-spar 
and calcite it is equally easy in three directions 

The greatest name in mineralogy is that of 
Eene Just Hally, the creator of the modern science 
of crystallography. By the indefatigable labors of 
a lifetime, he demonstrated the importance of crys- 
talline form in the classifying of minerals. Rene 
Just Haliy, a native of Picardy, was an humble 
French priest. For fidelity to his conscience dur- 
ing the Reign of Terror he was thrown into prison. 
He was rescued on the very eve of the September 
massacres of 1792, by the devotion of his pupil, 
Geoffrey Saint-Hillaire, at the imminent peril of his 
own life. Haliy, early in his labors, recognized the 
invariability of the angles of crystals, notwithstand- 
ing the changes which their faces might happen to 
undergo. A happy accident, the dropping of a 
* specimen of calcareous spar, led to his discovery of 
the importance of cleavage, and subsequently to 

i6o What Catholics have done for Sczeitce. 

that of the true laws of crystallization. This latter 
discovery occasioned a new arrangement of mine- 
rals, and opened a new era in mineralogy. 

The law of constancy applies only to what are 
known as the primitive forms of crystals. Many 
secondary forms are derived from the primitive 
ones. Haily discovered the laws by which the 
secondary forms are derived from the primary. 
"The mathematical deduction of the dimensions 
and proportions of these secondary forms," says 
Whewell; ''the invention of a notation to express 
them ; the examination of the whole mineral king- 
dom in accordance with these \news ; the produc- 
tion of a work in which they are explained with 
singular clearness and vivacity, are services by 
which Haiiy richly earned the admiration which 
has been bestowed upon him. The wonderful 
copiousness and variety of the forms and laws to 
which he was led, thoroughly exercised and nour- 
ished the spirit of deduction and calculation which 
his discoveries excited in him. The reader may 
form some conception of the extent of his labors, 
by being told that the mere geometrical proposi- 
tions which he found it necessary to premise to his 
special descriptions occupy a volume and a half of 

Mineralogy. 1 6 1 

liis work ; that his diagrams are nearly a thousand 
in number ; that in one single substance (calc-spar) 
he has described forty-seven varieties of form ; 
and that he has described one kind of crystal (called 
by him fer sulfure jparallelique) which has one 
hundred and thirty-four faces." 

62 What Catholics have done for Science, 


OTANY, aD other of the olassificatoiy 
sciences, treats of the vegetable king- 
dom. The domain of this science is 
truly vast. Botanists have already discovered and 
described one hundred and twenty thousand species 
of plants, and stiU there remain mighty regions of 
the earth whose flora is entirely unknown. The 
number of tbe votaries whom this charming science 
has tempted to climb the ladder of fame is legion. 
Probably no other science has had so many and so 
devoted students. 

Botany is a very old science, and its birth may be 
considered as coeval wdth that of the race. Botany 
rejoices in the possession of three great names 
among the ancients, Theophrastus among the 
Greeks, the Koman Pliny, and Dioscorides of 
Anazarbus, Asia Minor. Theophrastus of Eresos 
wrote the first great book on botany in the fourth 
century b.c. Pliny has left us sixteen volumes on 

Botany. 163 

plants. But of ancient botanical works, that of 
Pedanius Dioscorides of Anazarbus in Cilicia, Asia 
Minor, reached the greatest fame. Dioscorides, 
who wrote about 100 a.d., describes six hundred 
species of plants. 

In all likelihood the three who have done most 
for the modern science were Csesalpinus, Lin- 
naeus, and Jussieu. Of these, two were Catholics, 
Csesalpinus and Jussieu. 

Andreas Csesalpinns of Arezzo in Italy was the 
first to construct a system of botany, or to invent 
a method which distributed into consistent and 
distinct divisions the whole vegetable kingdom. 
Csesalpinus was the father of modern botany, and 
his book, "De Plantis" (1583), introduced its first 
great epoch. Csesalpinus founded his system on 
the fructification of plants. "All science," says 
Csesalpinus, " consists in the collection of similar 
and the distinction of dissimilar things. . . . Let 
us now endeavor to mark the kinds of plants by es- 
sential circumstances in the fructification. ... In 
the constitution of organs three things are mainly 
important — the number, the position, the figure." 
The whole system of Linnseus rests on this arrange- 
ment of Csesalpinus. Csesalpinus was born in 
Arezzo, in 1519, became professor in the univcr- 

164 What Catholics have done for Science. 

sity of Pisa, and afterwards physician to Pope 
Clement YIII. He was a great philosopher, and 
contributed material aid toward the progress of 
many other sciences besides botany. 

The two great epochs in botany succeeding the 
Caesalpinian were marked respectively by tlie sys- 
tems of Linngeus and Jussieu. The system of 
Linnaeus is called the artificial, or sexual, system, 
and is based upon the characters of certain external 
parts of a plant, without any regard to the connec- 
tion of these same characters with the plant's life 
or purpose of existence. The characters chosen by 
the great Swede on which to build his system are 
the stamina and pistils — their number, position, and 
other circumstances. IN^o artificial classification 
could be more perfect than that of Linnaeus, and 
his system met with great and immediate popu- 
larity. Students flocked to him from all countries, 
and he became wonderfully famous, and certainly 
did great things for botany. Still, no artificial 
system, however perfect, can answer the highest 
purposes of science. True science looks beyond 
the artificial and yearns for the natural. The Lin- 
naean system is now obsolete. 

In the natural system both the external charac- 
ers and internal organization of the plant are alike 

Botany. 165 

considered, so that all the real affinities subsisting 
in the vegetable world are exhibited. In forming 
a natural system, great difficulties had to be en- 
countered, owing to the immensity of the field and 
the almost infinite variety of the individuals, and 
consequently no natural system can be entirely 

Bernard de Jussien, in his arrangement of the 
plants in the garden of the Trianon, Paris, de- 
vised a " IN^atural Method." The aim of the Jus- 
sieuan system is to gather together all such plants 
as are allied in all essential points of structure,, and 
to take into account the true affinities of plants, on 
a comparison of all their organs. Its first author 
was Bernard de Jussieu. It was perfected and 
published by his nephew, Antoine Laurent de Jus- 
sieu. The great work of Antoine Laurent, " Genera 
Plantarum secundum Ordines J^aturales Disposita," 
published in 1789, according to Cuvier, holds the 
same place with regard to botany that the experi- 
ments of Lavoisier do to chemistry. From the 
date of this work, the natural system was firmly es- 
tablished as the true basis of botany. It marks 
the greatest epoch in the history of the science. 

"The object of the Jussieus," says Whewell, 
" was to obtain a system which should be governed 

1 66 What Catholics have done for Science, 

by the natural affinities of the plants, while, at the 
same time, the characters by which the orders were 
ostensibly determined, should be as clear, simple, 
and precise, as those of the best artificial system. 
The main points in these characters were the num- 
ber of the cotyledons and the structure of the 
seed ; and subordinate to this, the insertion of the 
stamina, which they distinguished as epigynons, 
perigynous, and hypogynons, according as they were 
inserted over, about, or under, the germen. And 
the classes which were formed by the Jussieus, 
though they have since been modified by succeed 
ing writers, have been so far retained by the most 
profound botanists, notwithstanding all the new 
care and new light which have been bestowed upon 
the subject, as to show that what was done at first, 
was a real and important step in the solution of 
the problem." 

Among the greatest names in botany must be 
mentioned those of the pious Catholic brothers, 
Charles and Louis Rene Tulasne, lately deceased. 
They are the great authorities on vegetable fungi. 
On the occasion of the death of Louis, Dr. Yidal 
wrote to the President of the Frencli Academy as 
follows : ''You will have at Paris all the informa- 
tion regarding his scientific work, but what will 

Botany, 167 

never be known is tlie amount of good which he 
did to those about liira. M. Tulasne lived very 
retired in the country ; he received all persons with 
the same affability, but one saw that to interest him 
actively it was necessary to point out to him those 
who were uufortunate and in need of consolation, 
and then his goodness and charity were equally in- 
exhaustible. Aided by his brother, Dr. Tulasne, 
who died last year, he established charitable insti- 
tutions pretty nearly everywhere in this region. 
His life, so well spent, may be summed up by say- 
ing that he did good — ^nothing but good, and 
always good." 

1 68 What Catholics have done for Science, 


I HE science of pliysiologj treats of organs 
and their functions. The word itself is 
derived from two Greek terms, and lit- 
erally signifies a discourse concerning nature. The 
growth of the science has been sloWj but constant, 
from the earliest antiquity. The science is one of 
vastness and complexity, and every generation has 
added something to its improvement. It has al- 
ways claimed a great number of ardent cultivators, 
and made great progress even among the ancients. 

The names of Hippocrates of Cos, Asclepiades of 
Bithynia, and the great Stagirite attained great 
fame in physiological science. But by far the 
greatest master of physiology among the ancients 
was Claudius Galen of Pergamus (a.d. 203). Galen 
had a sound and clear knowledge of the general 
structure of the animal frame. For more than a 
thousand years he was the undisputed authority in 

Physiology, 1 69 

anatomical science, and during that vast period was 
universally referred to as " tlie master." 

The first to seriously call in question the views 
of Galen was Andreas Yesalius, a Catholic pro- 
fessor in the great university of Padua in the six- 
teenth century. Yesalius' charge against Galen 
was a just one, that in his dissections the master 
used animals instead of the human body. The 
great work of Yesalius, "De Corporis Humani Fab- 
rica," was published in 1543. We have the testi- 
mony of Cuvier that the three Catholic professors, 
Yesalius, Fallopius, and Eustachius, were the found- 
ers of modern anatomical science. 

Gabriello Fallopius of Modena was a pupil of 
Yesalius, and became a professor at Padua. His 
great work, '^ Observationes Anatomicse," was pub- 
lished in 1561. He is noted chiefly for his treatise 
on the structure of the ear, one of whose tubes still 
bears his name. 

Bartolommeo Eustachius of Salerno is best known 
for his anatomical descriptions of the ear and teeth. 
The Eustachian tube, connecting the ear and throat, 
is named for him. His work, "Tabulae Anatom- 
icse," was not published until 1714, the original 
text having been lost. 

Realdus Columbus, a pupil of Yesalius and also 

170 What Catholics- have done for Science, 

a professor at Padua, was the discoverer of the 
pulroonarj circulation of the blood. This discov- 
ery is mentioned in his work '' De Re Anatomica" 
(1559). Csesalpinus explained more fully this pul- 
monary circulation, and may be almost said to have 
discovered the great circulation, as he mentions 
among his observations the swelling of the veins 
on the side of the ligature away fi'om the heart. 

Fabricius of Acquapendente, another of the 
Paduan professors, discovered that the valves of the 
veins are all turned towards the heart. Morse in- 
vented the telegraph by combining and utilizing 
the discoveries of others. So the discoveries of 
these Catholic professors were the means of enab- 
ling Harvey to discover the great circulation of the 
blood. This is written of Harvey, not in the least 
to subtract from his glory, but to give a just meed 
of praise to his predecessors and great coadjutors 
in the advancement of physiological science. Har- 
vey was not a Catholic, still he received his tuition 
from Fabricius of Acquapendente in the great 
Paduan university. Harvey's name is the greatest 
in modern anatomy. 

Spallanzani made many interesting experiments 
on the subject of digestion, favoring the opinion 
that it is a solution of the food by the gastric juice. 

Physiology, 1 7 1 

The laborious researches of Malpighi of Bologna 
did invaluable service for physiological science, he 
being the first to introduce the microscope into 
anatomical examinations. His is the extraordinary 
merit of discovering the capillary circulation of the 
blood from the arteries to the veins, and thus com- 
pleting Harvey's great discovery. His great work 
on the Chick was published in 1673. 

Santorini, whose physiological researches were 
mainly confined to the nervous system, explained 
the action of a part of the brain upon the nerves 
of the opposite side. 

One of the greatest laborers on the nervous sys- 
tem was Bichat, who made a most important step 
in the knowledge of the nerves when he estab- 
lished the distinction between a ganglionic system 
and a cerebral system. Johannes Mtiller proved 
himself a brilliant physiologist in his great work, 
"Manual of Physiology" (1833). 

Among other distinguished Catholic cultivators 
of anatomy and physiology were Francis Redi of 
Arezzo, Morgagni, Lancisi, Pare, Desault, Bellin- 
geri, and Claude Bernard. 

Though a classificatory science, zoology properly 
comes under the head of physiology, because its 
subjects are classified according to a natural or 

172 WJiat Cat holies have eionc for Seience. 

physiological plan. An attempt was early made to 
classify zoology artificially, or according to the ex- 
ternal parts, similarly to the Linncean plan in 
botany. But this was soon abandoned. 

Cuvier was the first to arrange the animal world 
after a plan based on the animal's stmctnre. He 
argned that the whole animal kingdom is modeled 
on fonr plans or forms. The four great types are 
the rertebrata, moUusca, articulata, and radiata. 
The vertebrates include all animals having an in- 
ternal skeleton, with a back-bone for its axis. The 
articulates embrace all animals whose body is com- 
posed of rings or joints. ]\Iollusks. or soft animals, 
have no bony skeleton. The division of radiates 
is composed of animals whose organs radiate from a 
center. Cuvier deserves the first place in zoology 
for the importance of his work. Cuvier, though a 
non-Catholic, was a devout and firm believer in the 
Creator. Xot only his behef but his philosophy 
was firmly fi:s:ed on the acknowledgment of a crea- 
tive purpose as well as a creative power in nature. 
And indeed ^WTiewell demonstrates in the Bridge- 
water Treatise '•' that those who have been discov- 
erers in science have generally had minds the dis- 
position of which was to believe in an intelligent 
Maker of the universe ; and that the scientific spec- 

Physiology. 1 73 

ulations which produced an opposite tendency 
were generally those which, though they might 
deal familiarly with known physical truths, and 
conjecture boldly with regard to the unknown, did 
not add to the number of solid generalizations." 

In respect of the excellence of their work in 
zoology, two Catholic names must be placed imme- 
diately after Cuvier's — those of Buff on and Dau- 
benton. Their great joint work, " Histoire Natu- 
relle," must always be justly regarded as one of the 
greatest contributions to zoological science. 

174 What Catholics have done for Science. 


[EOLOGY, as a science, is still in its early 
youth, and indeed it is through courtesy 
tliat it is admitted into the scientific 
category. Nearly the whole of the mighty crust 
of the globe remains unexplored by geologists, and 
the organic fossils of vast regions are entirely 
unknown. And concerning even the comparatively 
minute portion that has been geologically analyzed 
the facts are few and our knowledge meager. 

The furious and unseemly strifes of the Yulcan- 
ists and ITeptunists, together with the ridiculous 
claims set up for it while it was still in its s wad- 
ling clothes, brought geology into disrepute. But 
a better spirit now animates its students, who, 
wisely steering clear of hypotheses, content them- 
selves with a patient pursuit of facts. 

Geology, in its usual and restricted sense, is a 
history of the structure of as much of the earth's 

Geology, 1 75 

crust as is accessible to man's observation. The 
crust of the globe has left its own historic record 
indelibly traced upon its stony strata. This rocky 
envelope is far from being homogeneous, it being 
the resultant of many contrary and conflicting 
forces. So that, naturally, this geological record is 
exceedingly obscure, much more so even than tlie 
enigmatic sculptures of Mnive and Egypt. 

The rocky formations of the earth's crust are 
divided into the igneous and aqueous. The igneous, 
or unstratified, rocks are supposed to have been pro- 
duced by fusion. The aqueous, or stratified, rocks 
seem to have been formed through the agency of 
water, by a chemical and sedimentary process. 

Lithologists read the chronological order of terres- 
trial creation from the character of the rockj^ forma- 
tions themselves. Lithology is the science of rocks. 
The paleontologists read this order from the nature 
of the fossil remains found buried in the strata. 
Paleontology is the science of fossils. It is deenied 
that the fossils have kept a much more reliable 
record, chronologically, than the stones. The char- 
acter of the fossil very accurately defines the period 
in which its embedding strata were formed, as the 
order of the animal succession is fairly well estab- 
lished. On the other hand, it is ver}^ difilcult to 

176 What Catholics have do7te for Science. 

trace, witli any degree of accuracy, the correct order 
of their succession from the character of the stony 
formations themselves ; they are so twisted together 
and interwoven, having been metamorphosed by 
the agencies of heat, water, the atmosphere, and 
galvanism. Hitchcock defines a fossil to be the 
body or any known part or trace of an animal or 
plant, buried by natural causes in the earth ; and 
hence a mold or mere footmark is a fossil. 

The country of Galileo and Yolta, the two great- 
est names in science, is the birthplace of geology. 
It is an Italian science; and, though other countries 
have materially added to its growth and symmetry, 
it must not forget its Catholic parentage. The 
celebrated painter of the greatest of all frescoes, the 
"Last Supper," Leonardo da Yinci, was one of the 
first to form a correct opinion of the fossil remains 
embedded in the rocky strata of the earth. He 
maintained that the fossil shells found in rocks are 
real shells, and that there have been real changes 
in the land and ocean. Da Yinci was led to his 
views on the subject of fossils from his observa- 
tions made while superintending the digging of 
canals planned by him in the north of Italy. It is 
principally to this extraordinary man, the inventor 
of canal locks, and regarded by Humboldt as the 

Geology. 177 

greatest physicist of the fifteenth century, and 
Friar Koger Bacon, that we owe that introduction 
of the experimental or inductive system into study 
that has brought modern sciences to their present 
proud perfection. 

Following Da Yinci came Fracastoro, who, from 
observations made by him during excavations about 
the city of Yerona, gave it as his opinion that fossil 
shells are real shells of animals once living on the 

Fabio Colonna (1592) was of the opinion that 
fossil shells had been left on land by the retiring 
ocean and were subsequently petrified. 

Nicolaus Steno, the great Danish anatomist, a 
Catholic bishop, living the most of his life in Italy, 
was one of the very greatest contributors to the 
advancement of the young science of geology. In 
his great work, " De Solido intra Solidum naturaliter 
Contento" (1669), he was the first to distinguish 
between the primitive unstratified rocks containing 
no organic remains and the sedimentary aqueous 
fossiliferous strata. He was also the first to state 
that the fossiliferous strata were all originally de- 
posited in horizontal beds. The subsequent twist- 
ing of these strata he attributes partly to eruption 

of subterranean vapors caused by internal heat, 

I j'^ What Catholics have do7ie for Science. 

and partly to the gi^'ing way of the underlying 

The Sicilian painter, Augustine Scilla (1670), 
published an illustrated treatise on the petrified 
remains of Calabria and Malta. Antonio Yallisneri 
of Modena, the great' Italian naturalist, described 
(1721) the fossils of Monte Bolca, and tried to de- 
termine the territorial extent of marine fossils in 

Yallisneri was succeeded by Father Spada (1T3Y), 
Lazzaro Moro (1740), Cirillo Generelli (1749), and 
Donati (1750). It is generally conceded that the 
Italians have always been preeminent in geological 

Buff on. Ampere, Sorignet, Bourgeois, Delauny, 
and Johannes Miiller are Catholic names well known 
in the history of geological progress. 

One of the liveliest sources of controversy among 
geologists is the theory of a central igneous fluidity. 
Many grave scientists believe that, with the excep- 
tion of a very shallow crust, the whole interior of 
the globe is a fiery liquid ocean. In proof of this 
opinion, they instance thermal springs, volcanoes, 
earthquakes, and, particularly, the supposed regular 
and gradual increase in the temperature of all deep 

Geology. 1 79 

mines, equal to 1° F. for every 55 feet of descent 
after the first 100 feet. 

By the great care and delicacy employed by 
physicists in their observations in recent borings, 
together with the improved methods of measuring 
heat, they have found that the increase in the tem- 
perature as we descend from the earth's surface is 
often irregular; that sometimes there is no in- 
crease ; and that frequently there is a decrease. So 
that the gradual increase of temperature is now 
given up. 

It is an established mechanical law, according to 
Daniel, that an incandescent fluid mass must be in 
a constant state of circulation by the cooling of its 
exterior. The interior fluid mass of the earth 
ought to be in a constant whirl, if it is a cooling 
liquid. Dreadful tides would incessantly rise in 
this mighty igneous ocean, and flow around after 
the moon and sun. I^o crust could withstand the 
breaking of such tides. The cooling of this liquid 
mass would cause a continuous contraction of the 
globe, and consequently a shortening of the day. 
The nicest mathematical calculation shows that the 
day's length has not changed the hundredth part of 
a second in more than three thousand years. Al- 

1 8o What Catholics- have done for Science. 

though there are certainly two sides to this question 
of central fluidity, the weight of evidence seems to 
favor the solidity of our planet. 

The quondam conflict between geology and 
Moses has winged its flight to the home of the 
myths. There is the most perfect concord between 
geology and the cosmogony of the great Lawgiver. 
Moses, in describing the origin of things, had no 
intention of writing a treatise on science. He con- 
fined himself to a narration of such facts as suited 
his purpose, in giving a clear and succinct history 
of God's work in the creation, and so omitted many 
details that should be mentioned in a comprehen- 
sive work on the science of the earth. But the facts 
related by Moses are in absolute accord with the 
teachings of geology. " Geological observations are 
in perfect accordance with the Book of Genesis," 
says Cuvier, " in reference to the order in which all 
organic beings have been successively created." 
With regard to the length of the days of creation 
to be understood in Genesis, Faith determines 
nothing. "We can hold the days to be indefinite 
periods, if we wish, without compromising Catholic 
doctrine. The early Fathers of the Church were 
the first to consider these days not as ordinary 
days. Particularly is this true of St. Augustine, 

Geology. i8i 

who declares " that we should not hastily pronounce 
on the nature of the six days of creation, nor 
assert that they were similar to our ordinary 

"We have an epitome of geology in these few ex- 
pressive words of the Abbe Sorignet, in his " Sacred 
Cosmogony" (translated by Archbishop Kenrick) : 
" Geology is able to assign the point when life be- 
gan to appear on our globe and to deposit its pro- 
ducts. This point is the epoch in which were 
formed the sedimentary primary, or transition, 
strata. Then life emanated from Creative Omnipo- 
tence, and from that moment the history of 
vegetable and animal productions is associated with 
that of mineral phenoi^iena. 

" If we descend through the' series of rocks, in 
setting out from the uppermost strata, we find 
traces of life everywhere in the tertiary, secondary, 
and primary formations. We find that the lowest 
strata of the primary system become gradually 
bare of organic remains. The slate bearing on it 
impressions of terrestrial plants, and alternating with 
limestone which contains some marine fossils, de- 
generates into micaceous schist, this into gneiss, 
and this last into granite. Arrived at this point, we 
no longer find clay-schist, or sand, or sandstone ; no 

1 82 What Catholics have do7ie for Science, 

more lime, nor carbonic substances ; inline, no more 
deposits formed bj the water, nor organized beings ; 
but masses of granite enveloping the whole globe 
are everyv/here found below the sedimentary rocks, 
in the hollows of which these rocks were de- 

'' There was, then, a time when this immense gran- 
ite basin was empty; when the waters — this first 
condition of life — did not exist on the surface of 
the globe, — void and uninhabited. It was then this 
great basin that received at the beginning the vege- 
table species and the sea-animals. It was on a sur- 
face in relation with the immense inequalities of 
the granite that were' produced the liuviatile and 
terrestrial species. There was their and our first 

"Thus all things have had a beginning. The 
proof of this great fact, the announcement of which 
opens with such sublimity the history of the world 
by Moses, has been found by geology in the entrails 
of the earth. From the bottom of abyss, whither 
the hand of God had brought and accumulated their 
remains, the dead have come and deposed to the 
truth of the sacred record of Genesis. 

" Geology goes still farther : after conducting us as 
it were to the cradle of life, it makes us assist at its 

Geology. 183 

last moments ; it shows us the tomb of thousands of 
animal and vegetable species ; and confirms, in its 
own way, the revelation that teaches us that all that 
has begun will have an end." 



Which is the noblest of the sciences? 

Mention some of the aims of Astronomy? 

Who were the first astronomers? 

How far did then- knowledge extend ? 

Who was the greatest astronomer among the ancients? 

What did Hipparchus do for Astronomy? 

Through whom do we know Hipparchus? 

What is the Almagest of Ptolemy? 

Did Astronomy flourish among the Arabians? 

Who was Regiomontanus? 

In what consists the great glory of Copernicus? 

What did Copernicus do for Astronomy? 

What did Galileo do for Astronomy? 

What didPicard do? Descartes? Piazzi? Le Vcrrier? 

What is the scope of Spectrum Analysis? 

Who was its great interpreter? 

Has Catholic Faith aught to fear from Astronomy? 


Where was Copernicus born? 

Is there a monument to his memory? 

Where did he study? 

Where did he receive Holy Orders? 

Of what church was he a canon? 

What is said of his Observatory? 

1 86 Questions for the Use of Schools, 

How many years did he devote to the establishment of his 
What is the title of his great work? 
At whose instance did he publish it? 
Why did he reject the old system of the world? 
Explain the old system of the world. 
Describe the system of Copernicus. 
Were his labors very great? 

Give his estimates of the planetary distances from the smi. 
Give the present estimates. 
How did Copernicus divide his time? 


When did Galileo flourish? 

What is said of his genius? 

What science did he create? 

Did he invent the telescope? 

Who first pointed it to the heavens? 

To whom do we owe the final establishment of the Coperni- 
can system? 

To whose labors do we owe the modern science of astronomy? 

Describe some of the wonders disclosed to Galileo through 
means of the telescope? 

One of the greatest objections to the Copernican system was 

How did Galileo dissipate it? 

What always remained a puzzle to Galileo? 

Who solved it? 

Explain the question between Galileo and the Inquisition? 

Did Galileo always remain a true Catholic? 


What place does Le Yerrier occupy as a mathematical as- 
What is the law of gravitation? 

Questions for the Use of Schools. 187 

What must be considered when computing a planet's orbit? 
Did the theoretic path of Uranus coincide with its actual one? 
How did astronomers account for the discrepancy ? 
Is it a very difficult problem to find a planet's orbit? 
What kindred problem is still more difficult? 
How did Le Verrier discover both Neptune and its orbit? 
What other great problems in celestial mechanics did Le 
Verrier solve? 
Was he a good Catholic? 


Was Father Secchi a great student of the sun? 
Give an epitome of his views on the radiant orb? 
What is said of him as a student of Spectrum Analysis? 
Explain the principle of Spectrum Analysis. 
Of how many stars did he analyze the spectra? 
Describe the four types of stellar spectra. 


When did the Abbot Gassendi flourish ? 
Who first endeavored to bring comets within the reach of 
Who first observed a planet's transit across the sun's disk? 
Describe Gassendi's method of observing a transit. 
What did Piazzi do for Astronomy? 
WhatPicard? What De Vico? Domenico Cassini? 
Name other astronomers of Catholic Italy. 


What is Chronology? 

What are the two natural units of time measurement? 

What causes the troubles in the Calendar? 

What is the sidereal day? The solar day? 

Does the mean tropical year vary ? 

1 88 Questions for the Use of Schools. 

What is the sidereal year? What the tropical or solar year? 

Who constructed the Julian Calendar? 

What is the Julian Calendar? 

Give the origin of the Gregorian Calendar. 

What is the Gregorian rule? 

Is the Gregorian Calendar a great boon? 


Is Geography an old science? 

What will no honest geographer dispute? 

What opinion had the ancients concerning the earth's shape ? 

What is said of Job in connection with geography ? 

Who was the first real geographer? 

Name some other ancient geographers. 

When did the great Catholic geographers begia to loom up? 

Name some early Catholic geographers. 

What did Catholic missionaries do for geography? 

Name some Catholic works on geography. 

What did Gerard Mercator do for navigation? 


From what sources have we inherited the science of geog- 

What is said of Marco Polo as a traveller? 

Give an epitome of his travels. 

What did he do upon reaching home? 

What misfortune befell him? 

To whom did he narrate his travels during his captivity? 

What is said of IMarco Polo's great work, the " Milione"? 

What effect did the reading of the "Milione" have on Co- 


Who was the most illustrious of discoverers? 

Where was Columbus born ? 

Did he early show a taste for the sea? 

Questions f 07' the Use of Schools. 189 

With how many degrees of the earth's equatorial circumfer- 
ence were the ancients acquainted. 

How many degrees were unaccounted for by the ancients? 

What motives had Columbus for thinking that new land lay 
towards the west? 

What influences ultimately confirmed him in this view? 

Did Columbus follow blind chance in his voyage of dis- 

Describe his struggles in trying to carry out his grand scheme 
of discovery. 

How many voyages did he make to the New World? 

What is said of his delineations of the N"ew World? 

What did he do for navigation? 

Why did Columbus first reach the Bahamas? 

Did his great discovery influence intellectual progress? 


Who was the first circumnavigator of the globe? 
Was he a fervent Catholic? 
When did Magellan offer his services to Spain? 
What induced Spain to send him forth to circumnavigate the 
Describe Magellan's feat of circumnavigation? 
What are the Magellanic Clouds? 
Why were they so named? 


How does Vasco da Gama rank as a discoverer? 
Was the finding of the maritime passage to India of great 
Who fitted out Da Gama for his great voyage? 
What was the character of Da Gama as a navigator? 
Was Da Gama attached to his religion? 
Has the name of Vespucci been unjustly aspersed? 
When did he offer his services to Spain? 

IQO Questions for the Use of Schools. 

Were they gladly accepted? 

How many trips did he make to the New World? 

How did it happen that the New World received his nameV 

What illustrious traveller has cleared Yespucci's name? 


Who first saw the grand Pacific? 

What part of the New World did Balboa first reach? 

Where did he next visit? 

Describe his journey to the great ocean. 

What sad fate did he meet on his return to Darien? 

What did Francisco Pizarro achieve in the New World? 

What were the achievements of Gonzalo Pizarro? 

Who first navigated the Amazon? 

Who first saw it? 

Who first described it? 

What discoveries did Vincent Pinzon make? 

What were the achievements of Hernan Cortes in the New 

Give the names of some distinguished Spanish Catholic dis- 

What does Irving say of the bold conquistadores? 

What great river did Marquette and Joliet explore? 

What were the achievements of Fernando De Soto? 

Where was his body sunk ? 

Name other Catholic explorers? 


Of what does the science of Mechanics treat? 

What does it embrace? 

What is s dd of the knowledge of the ancients concerning 

To whom are we indebted for our knowledge of the princi- 
ples of elementary mechanics? 

What laws are justly considered the basis of modern mechan- 
ical science? 

Questions for the Use of Schools. 191 

Is it known who first announced tlie first law of motion? 

What laws did Galileo discover? 

Who thoroughly verified the mechanical doctrines of Galileo? 

What did GalUeo do for Hydrostatics? 

What did Pascal do? What Castelli? What Torricelli? 

What did Father Mersenne do for Mechanics? 

Give other Catholic names eminent in Mechanics. 


Of what does the science of Mathematics treat? 
How is it divided? 

Has applied mathematics a wide range? 
AVith what does pure mathematics deal? 
What are classed under the head of pure Mathematics? 
What is said of the origin of Arithmetic? 
Of what does Algebra treat? 
What is said of Geometry? 

Who was the greatest of the abstract mathematicians? 
What is said of Gaspard Monge in connection with Geometry? 
What is said of Michel Chasles as a geometer? 
Who invented the Calculus? 
What is said of Cauchy as a mathematician? 
What of Pascal? 

Has the Church any dearth of eminent names in Mathe- 
Give other Catholic names in Mathematics. 


What is Acoustics? 

How is sound produced? 

What is the ordinary medium through which sound is con- 
veyed to the organs of hearing? 

Do liquids and solids conduct sound? 

What is the lowest number of oscillations in a second capable 
of producing sound ? 

192 Questions for the Use 0/ Schools, 

What the highest? 

What is a report? What a tone? 

What three characteristics does the ear distinguish in sound? 

Can sound be produced in a vacuum? 
■ What is the velocity of sound in air? 

At what distance is the human voice ordinarily heard? 

Do all sounds move with the same rapidity in the same 

What effect has distance on the intensity of sound? 

What is the law of the reflection of sound? 

Is sound refracted? 

What simple laws govern the relation "between vibrating 
strings and musical sounds? 

What did the ancients know about sound ? 

Who laid the foundation of mathematical acoustics? 

What did Father Mersenne do for the science? 

What did Gassendi do? What Cassini and Picard? 


Did Catholics do their part towards the development of 


What is Optics? 

What did the ancients know about the science? 

What are the two theories of light? 

Which of these theories is now accepted by physicists? 

Does it satisfactorily explain all the phenomena of light? 

What is the law of reflection ? 

What is refraction? 

What is the law of refraction? 

What is the index of refraction? 

What is dispersion? 

What is interference ? 

Upon what does the intensity of light depend? 

Upon what its color? 

What is the velocity of light? 

What is diffraction ? 

Questions for the Use of Schools, 193 

What causes double refraction? 
What is polarization? 

What is plane polarization? Circular? Elliptical? 
What is the greatest name in Optics? 
What did Fresnel do for Optics? 

What did Biot do? What did Mains do? Fizeau? Gri- 
maldi? Descartes? 
What other Catholic names are eminent in Optics? 


Of what does the science of Thermotics treat? 

What are the two rival hypotheses of heat? 

What properties have light and heat in common? 

Which hypothesis satisfactorily explains these properties of 

What is meant by the conduction of heat? 

What is convection? 

What is meant by radiation ? 

By what laws is the reflection of heat governed ? 

What surfaces absorb heat with greatest facility ? 

What surfaces reflect best? 

By what laws is the refraction of heat governed? 

What is one of the most notable as well as general effects of 

What is a Thermometer? 

What is specific heat? 

What is latent heat? 

What is the great name in Thermotics? 

What did Fourier do for Thermotics? 

What did Melloni do? What Dulong and Petit? 

What did Regnault do? Mariotte? Sanctorius? 

Mention some other great Catholic names in Thermotics? 


What is the oldest form of Electricity? 
Who gave Magnetism its name ? 

194 Qttestions for the Use of Schools. 

Where is the first mention of the electric property found ? 

Who coined the word electricity? 

When did Franklin announce the results of his experiments 
in Electricity? 

What did Coulomb do with his torsion- balance? 

What was Galvani's great experiment? 

What did Volta do for Electricity? What did Oerste,d dis- 

What did Ampere discover? What Faraday? 

When was the telegraph invented ? 

Who invented the greatest of dynamos? 

Who invented the storage-battery? 

What has commerce done with the thunderbolt? 


What did the labors of Galvani and Yolta furnish? 

What is galvanic electricity also called? 

What kind of electricity is employed in telegraphic com- 
munication ? 

What is a galvanic battery? 

Name some of the principal batteries. 

What is the principle of telegraphy? 

From what great experiment do the wonderful uses of elec- 
tricity in modern commerce date? 

Who became especially interested in the work of Galvani? 

What did Yolta do for Electricity? 

To what two Catholic scientists do we in great part owe the 
science of Galvanism? 


What two Catholic scientists established the laws of Elec- 
What did Coulomb do for Electricity? 
Describe the torsion-balance electrometer? 
What two laws governing the attraction and repulsion of 

Questions for the Use of Schools. 195 

electrified bodies did Coulomb demonstrate by means of this 

Describe other labors of Coulomb in behalf of Electricity. 

What is said of Ampere? 

Give a synopsis of what he did for Electricity. 

What is Ampere's theory of the earth's magnetism? 

What is Ampere's formula for determining the movements 
of the magnetic needle under the influence of the electric cur- 


What is Electro-magnetism ? 

What is Magneto electricity? 

What is a Dynamo? 

Describe the Gramme dynamo? 

In what does its superiority over all other dynamos consist? 

What is considered the greatest scientific discovery of the 
last half hundred years? 

Was the storage of electricity a great discovery? 

What is meant by electric storage? 

What is a storage-battery ? 

Who made the first storage-battery? 

Describe Gaston Plante's storage-battery? 

How does the storage-battery work ? 

For what are we indebted to the two Catholic gentlemen 
Gramme and Plante ? 


What did the great Catholic physicist Biot do for Elec- 
What did the immortal Descartes do? 
Who first observed the electric spark from a living body? 
What did Abbe Caselli do for Electricity? 
Who invented the Pantelegraph? 
What is the Pantelegraph ? 
What did Leon Foucault do for Electricity? 

196 Qttestions for the Use of Schools. 

Who invented the first electric lamp? 

Describe Foucault's lamp. 

Who was the first and most famous manufacturer of Car- 
bons for electric lamps? 

What department of electricity did the Catholic physicist 
Kobili improve? 

Name other great Catholic electricians. 


Had the Egyptians a fair knowledge of Chemistry? 
Were the Chinese early acquainted with many chemical facts? 
When did the Arabians begin to study Chemistry? 
What was the origin of Eui'opean Alchemy? 
What was the two-fold aim of Alchemy? 
Were there two classes in Alchemy? 
What is the domain of Chemistry? 
Explain the phlogistic theory. 
Explain the Lavoisierian or Oxygen theory. 
What is the Atomic Theory? 

What four laws govern the proportions in which elements 
What is Electro-chemistry? 
Is Chemistry in a transitional state at present? 
To what is this owing? 


Who is the father of modem Chemistry? 

When was Lavoisier born? 

Is Chemistry greatly indebted to him? 

What was one of his greatest merits? 

Who introduced the balance into Chemistry? 

How did Lavoisier disprove the theory of Phlogiston? 

Describe the experiment in which he showed that the in- 
crease of weight in an oxidized metal is due to its absorption 
of gas. 

Questions for the Use of Schools, 197 

Did Lavoisier regard some elements as simple? 
Did he originate the method still in use of decomposing or- 
ganic substances? 
Explain the nomenclature founded on the Oxj^gen Theory? 
What tribute does Whew ell pay the greatest of chemists? 


What was the belief of the alchemists regarding the compo- 
sition of metals? 

To what did this belief lead? 

Is the Chemistry of to-day going back to Alchemy? 

Are the alchemists deserving of the gratitude of mankind? 

Mention some of the great alchemists? 

How does Van Helmont rank among early chemists? 

What country has done most for the philosophy of chemistry? 

Have most of the great French chemists been children of 
the Church? 

What did Dumas do for Chemistry? 

What did Antoine Cesar Becquercl do? 

What did Dulong and Petit do? 

What did Michel Eugene Chevreul do? 

What anecdote is related of him showing his devotion to the 
Mother of God? 

Is Chemistry particularly rich in great Catholic names? 


What is Mineralogy? 

To what is the science confined? 

What are the two schools of classification in Mineralogy? 

Is it diflQcult to classify minerals on chemical grounds? 

What external character of minerals is the most marked? " 

What does Haily assume as the principle of Crystallography? 

Give some exceptions to Haiiy's rule. 

What is a Crystal? 

What is Crystallography? 

198 Questions for the Use of Schools. 

Give the three principal processes of crystallizing? 
Give the six geometrical classes to which all crystalline 
forms may be reduced. 

Give the six fundamental forms of crystals. 
Give an illustration of each form. 
What is the greatest name in Mineralogy? 
"What did Haiiy do for Mineralogy? 
What tribute does Whewell pay him? 


Of what does Botany treat? 
Has the science a vast domain? 

What three great names does Botany claim among the 
What three great names does the modern science claim ? 
Who is the father of modern Botany? 
What did Caesalpinus do for Botany? 
What is the system of Linnosus called? 
Explain the Linnsean system. 
What is considered in the natural system? 
Who were the authors of the natural system? 
What did the Jussieus do for Botany? 
What does Whewell say of the Jussieuan system? 
Name two great Catholic botanists lately deceased? 
What tribute does Dr. Yidal pay to Louis Rene Tulasne? 


Of what does Physiology treat? 

How is the word derived? 

Is the science one of vastness and complexity? 

What three names reached great fame in this science among 
the ancients? 

Who among the ancients was the greatest master of the 

What did Galen know about the animal frame ? 

Questions fo-r the Use of Schools, 199 

Who first called Galen seriously in question? 

Who was Yesalius ? 

What three Catholic professors were the founders of modern 
anatomical science? 

What did Fallopius do for anatomy? 

What Eustachius? What Realdus Columbus? What did 
Caesalpinus do? 

Whose is the greatest name in modern anatomy? 

From whom did Harvey receive his tuition? 

What did Spallanzani do for Physiology? 

What did Malpighi do? 

What did Santorini do? What Bichat? Johannes MiiUer? 

Give some other Catholic names of distinction in Anatomy 
and Physiology. 

Why does Zoology come under the head of Physiology ? 

Was any attempt made to classify zoology artificially? 

What did Cuvier do for Zoology? 

What doesWhewell demonstrate in reference to the belief 
of great discoverers? 

What two great Catholic names in Zoology come immedi- 
ately after Cuvier's? 


To what degree of development has Geology reached? 
What brought Geology into disrepute ? 
What is Geology? 

How are the rocky strata of the earth divided ? 
How do lithologists read the chronological order of the earth? 

How do paleontologists read this order of creation? 
What is Paleontology? 
Which has kept the best record? 
What is a fossil ? 

What country is the birthplace of Geology? 
Who was among the very first to form a correct opinion of 

200 Questio7is for the Use of Schools. 

Who succeeded Leonardo da Vinci? 

What opinion had Colonna of fossil-shells? 

What did Steno do for Geology? What SciUa? What Val- 

By whom was Yallisneri succeeded ? 

What position have Italians always held in Geology? 

Give some well known Catholic names in Geology? 

Epitomize the controversy concerning the theory of central 
igneous fluidity? 

What has become of the quondam conflict between Geology 
and the Cosmogony of Moses? 

Give the epitome of Geology taken from Sorignet's Sacred 


Acuna.. 73 

Adrianus 85 

Agricola 150 

Airy 26 

Albertus Magnus 47, 150 

Alexander: 45 

AUiacus, Cardinal 47, 56 

Ampere. 99, 109, 118, 121, 

122, 123, 178 

Arago 26 

Arcliimedes 77 

Aristotle 89 

Ascelin 46 

Asclepiades. 168 

Augustine, St 180 

Bacon, Koger 149, 177 

Balboa 71,72 

Baldelli 52 

Bastides 74 

Becquerel 151 

Behaim 47 

Bellingeri 171 

Beuedetti 81 

Bernard, Claude 171 

Bianchini 39 

Bicbat 171 

Biot 85, 97, 109, 132 


Bond 13 

Borelli 78, 80 

Borgo, Luca 83 

Boscovicb 39, 85 

Burgeois 178 

Buflon 173,178 

Bunsen 115 

Caesalpinus..... 163, 170 

Caesar 42 

Carre,...,, 136 

Carpino 46 

Caselli 133 

Cassini 12, 13, 38, 90 

Castelli 39, 79, 80 

Caucby....81, 85,90, 99, 109 

Cavalieri 85 

Cbacon 43 

Cbarles V 75 

Cbasles, Micbel 84, 85 

Cbevreul 152, 154 

Clavius 43 

Clement VIII 164 

Colonna, Fabio 177 

Columbus 53, 59 

Columbus, Realdus 169 

Cook 48 

Cortes, Hernan 74 


Index of Pi^oper Names. 


Copernicus H, 21, 85 

Coulomb. . .111, 118, 120, 132 
Cosmas Indicopleustes ... 46 

Cuvier 165, 169, 173 

Dalton 140 

Daniel 179 

Daniell 115, 128 

Danti 43 

Daubenton 173 

Davila 72 

Delauny 178 

Desault 171 

De Smet 76 

De Soto 75 

Descartes... 13, 78,80, 83, 

85, 99, 132, 133 

DeVico 38 

Dioscorides 162, 163 

Donati 178 

Donna Juana 59 

Dufay 133 

Dulong 108, 152 

Dumas 141, 151 

Eicbhorn 23 

Emanuel , 65 

Eratostbenes 45 

Eustacbius 169 

Fabricius of Acquapen- 

dente..... 170 

Fallopius 169 

Faraday 112 

Ferdinand 68 

Fizeau 98 

Foucault 134, 135 

Fourier 106 

Ferrari 83 


Fracastoro. 177 

Franklin Ill 

Fresnel 96 

Galen, Claudius 168, 169 

Galileo, 12, 13, 20-24, 73, 

80, 85, 89, 176 

Galle 27 

Galvani Ill, 112,114-117 

Gardar 56 

Gassendi .....35, 80,90 

Generelli 178 

Geoffroy Saint-Hillaire . . 159 

Gerbert 82 

Gilbert 110 

Gramme, 113, 124, 126, 

127, 131, 134 

Gregory X 50 

Gregory XIII 43 

Grimaldi 81,98 

Grove 115, 130 

Guerra 74 

Gunlijorn 56 

Guizot 23" 

Harvey 170, 171 

Haiiy 156,159,160 

Hennepin 75 

Herscbel 13, 25, 43 

Hitcbcock 176 

Hipparcbus 10, 16, 41 

Hippocrates 168 

Hojeda 67,74 

Humboldt, 48, 49, 67, 69, 

83, 176. 

Huygbens 32 

Hylacomylus 68 

Inniger 85 

Index of Proper Names. 



Irving 74 

Isabella 57-59 

Job 45 

Joliet 75 

Jussieu, Bernard de, .163-1G6 
Jussieu, Antonie Laurent 

de... 165, 166 

Kenrick, Archbishop 181 

Kublai-Khan 50 

LaCosa 47, 74 

Laloubere 85 

Lancisi 171 

Laplace 13 

La Salle 75 

Lavoisier.. 139, 140, 142- 

144, 146, 165 

Leibnitz ..23, 85 

Leon, Juan Ponce de 74 

Leonardo da Yinci. . .176, 177 

Lepe 74 

Lesueur 85 

Le Verrier 13, 25-29 

Linnaeus 163, 164 

Lully ,.. 150 

Maco 85 

Magellan 47, 61-63 

Malpighi 171 

Mains 98 

Maraldi 39, 99 

Marco Polo... 46, 49, 52, 

53, 55 

Mariotte 81, 109 

Marquette 75 

Maurer ^ 85 

Meidinger 115 

Melloni 106, 107, 136 


Membre 75 

Mercator 47 

Merscnne.. ..80, 81, 85, 89, 90 

Moigno 85 

Monge, Gaspard. . . .84, 85, 99 

Morgagni 171 

Moro, Lazzaro 178 

Morse 170 

Moses 180, 182 

Muller 171, 178 

Naddod 56 

Napoleon 84 

Newton 37, 38 

Nino o 74 

Nobili 107, 109, 136 

Nollet 85, 133 

Oersted .....112, 121 

Orellano 73 

Pacinotti. 136 

Pare 171 

Pascal 80, 85, 109 

Paul III 15 

Perez, Juan 57, 58 

Petit 108, 152 

Piazzi 13, 36 

Picard 12, 13, 37, 38, 90 

Piccolomini 81 

Pinzon, Alonso 57, 67 

Pinzon, Martin 58, 60 

Pinzon, Vincent ,58, 74 

Pizarro, Francisco 72, 75 

Pizarro, Gonzalo 72 

Plante, Gaston. . 113, 124, 

130, 131 

Planudes 82 

Pliny 110,162 


Index of Proper Names, 


Ptolemy. . . .10, 11, 16, 46, 55 

Puisieux , 85 

Pythagoras 89 

Eanke 23 

Raumer 23 

Redi 171 

Reisch 85 

Regiomontanus 11, 14, 85 

Regnault 108 

Riccati 85 

Rubruquis 46 

Rustigielo 52 

Sanchez 59 

Sanctorius 109 

Santa Cruz 47 

Santorini 171 

Sanuto 47 

Schomberg, Cardinal 15 

Scilla 178 

Secchi 13, 30, 32, 33 

Siemens — Halske 115 

SixtusIV 11 

Sorignet 178, 181 

Sosigenes 42 


Spada 178 

Spallanzani ... 170 

Spittler 23 

Stahl 138 

Steno 177 

Strabo 46 

Thales 110 

Theophrastus 162 

Torricelli .. 79,80 

Toscanelli 47, 56, 59 

Tulasne, Charles 166, 167 

Tulasne, Loiiis Rene. 166, 167 

Yalentine, Basil, 150 

Yallisneri 178 

Yan Helmont 150 

Yasco da Gama 47, 65-67 

Yesalius 169 

Yespucci 47, 67, 69 

Yidal, Dr 166 

Yiete, Frangois 83, 85 

Yiviani 80 

Yolta..ll2, 114, 116, 117,176 
Whe^vell.23, 24, 145, 165, 172 
Ximenes 61, 74 



Aberration 36, 38 

Absorption 102, 105, 143 

Academy of Sciences 37 

Accelerating force 79 

Acid.. 114, 131, 138, 139, 

144, 145 

Acidification 139 

Acidulated 114, 116, 129 

Acoustics, science of. 86, 89, 90 
Mode of propagating 

sound 86 

Musical tones 88 

Velocity of sound.. . .87, 88 
Laws of vibrating 

strings 88 

What Catholics have 

done for 89, 90 

Acoutado 66 

Acuna, Father 73 

Adiathermanous 103 

Adrianus 85 

Affinity 31,165 

Africa 45, 46, 66 

African coasts 47 

Agricola 150 

Air-thermometer 109 

Airy 26 

Aix-La-Chapelle 108 

Albertus Magnus 47, 150 

Alchemists. .137, 148, 149, 150 

Alchemy 137, 138, 150 

Alcohol 105 

Alexander 45 

Alexandria 42, 46 

Algebra 82 


AUiacus, Cardinal 47, 56 

Allotropic condition 148 

Allotropy 148 

Alloys 137 

Almagest 10 

Aluminum 152 

Amazon 73 

Amber 110 

Americi Terra 68 

American continent 67 

Ampere 99, 109, 112, 

118, 121, 122, 123, 178 

Amperian 121 

Ancients 45, 54, 77 

Andalusia 57 

Analytical chemistry. , . . 150 
Analytical geometry. .82, 132 

Anam 50 

Anatomical examinations. 171 
Anatomical description. . 169 

Anatomical science 169 

Anatomy Ill, 170 

Anazarbus 162, 163 

Andes 72 

Angoul§me 118 

Anhydrous sulphuric acid 106 

Animal electricity 136 

Antares ... 34 

Antimony 107, 136, 150 

Antiquity 10, 89, 137 

Appalachians 75 

Applied mathematics .... 82 

Aqueous 175, 177 

Arabians 11 

Arabian geographers 57 


General htdex. 


Arabian legends 52 

Arabs 137 

Arago 26 

Ai'cbimedes 77 

Archipelago 62 

Archives 51 

Arcturus 34 

Arezzo 163, 171 

Aristotle 89 

Arithmetic , 82 

Arkansas 75 

Armatin-e 126, 127 

Arragonite. 156 

Arteries 171 

Articulata 172 

Articulates 172 

Artificial 164 

Ascelin 46 

Asclepiades 168 

Asia 45,46, 51, 54, 55 

Asia Minor 46, 110, 162 

Asteroid 13, 36, 37 

Astrolabe 59 

Astronomer Royal 26 

Astronomy 9 

Its scope 9 

First astronomers. 10, 11, 12 
Their discoveries. 10, 11, 12 
First catalogue of stars. 10 
Tables of the sun, moon, 

and planets 10 

Work of Hipparchus 

and Ptolemy 10 

Among the Arabians . . 11 

True system of 11 

Real and apparent mo- 
tion 12 

The telescope applied 

to A 12 

Discovery of Neptune. 18, 25 
Constitution of sun and 

stars 13 

Spectroscope applied to 

A 13 

Faith nothing to fear 

from A 13 

Atlantic 62, 63 


Atomic theory... 108, 140, 141 

Atomic vf^eights 104, 105 

Atoms 108, 140 

Attraction 112, 119, 120 

Austral 120, 121 

Automatically 135 

Automatic 135 

Axial motion 12 

Azot 139 

Bacon, Roger 149, 177 

Bahamas 58, 60 

Balance 143 

Balboa 71, 72 

Baldelli 52 

Barometer , 80 

Bases 144, 145 

Base metals 187 

Basil Valentine 150 

Bastides 74 

Batteries 114, 126, 181 

Bay of All Saints 67 

Becquerel 151, 152 

Behain , 47 

Bellmgeri 171 

Benedetti 81 

Bengal 50 

Berlin 27 

Bernard, Claude. ... 171 

Betelgueze 84 

Beypoor 65 

Bianchini 39 

Bichat 171 

Binaxial 96 

Biot 85,97, 109, 132 

Bismuth 107, 136 

Bithynia = ..10, 168 

Blessed Virgin 158 

Blue 93 

Blue glass 107 

Boer 66 

Boiling point 104 

Bologna 111,171 

Bond , 13 

Boreal 120, 121 

Borelli 78,80 

Borgo 83 

Boscovich 89. 85 

General Index. 



Botanical works 165 

Botanists 162, 166 

Botany 162 

Its scope 162 

Among the ancients . . , 162 

Its modern birth 163 

Its great epoch 164 

Artificial system of . . , . 164 

Natural system of 164 

Great Catholic bota- 
nists 166, 167 

Bourgeois 178 

Brass 102 

Brazil 67 

Break-piece 125 

Breisgrau 68 

Bridgewater treatise 172 

Brigantine . , 71 

British India 65 

Bromides 145 

Bromine 145 

Brussels 130 

Buffon 174, 178 

Bun sen's battery 115 

Csesar, Julius 42 

Cgesalpinus 163, 170 

Calabria 178 

Calcareous spar. 152, 156, 

159, 160 

Calces 139 

Calcination 139 

Calculus 82 

Calculus of imaginaries. . 85 

Calendar 40 

I Calicut 65 

I California 74 

I Caloric 109 

Candle-making 153 

! Canals 176 

i Canal-locks 176 

Canary Islands 55 

Canopies 64 

Capella 34 

Cape St. Augustine 74 

Cape Paria 67 

Cape Yerd Islands 55, 56 

Capillary circulation .... 171 


Carbides 145 

Carburets 145 

Carbon, 115, 134, 136, 145, 149 

Carbonate of lime 95, 156 

Carbonic ■ 182 

Carpino 46 

Carre 136 

Carrier- ball 119 

Carthaginians 45 

Caselli 133 

Cassini 12, 13, 38, 90 

Castelli 39, 79, t^O 

Castile 58 

Castilla de Oro 71 

Castelnuovo . . 78 

CatalogTie of stars 10, 36 

Cathay 50 

Cauchy. . . .81, 85, 90, 99, 109 

Cavalieri 85 

Centre of gravity 77 

Central Asia. 51 

Centigrade 32 

Cerebral system 171 

Ceres 36 

Chacon 43 

Chaldean 10, 55, 66 

Charcoal 135, 149 

Characteristic 33 

Characteristics 87 

Charles V 75 

Charts 54 

Chasles 84,85 

Chemical action. 100, 114, 

116, 141 
Chemical affinity . . . .128, 129 

Chemical process 175 

Chemistry 137, 165 

Knowledge of the an- 
cients concerning ... 1 37 
Historj^ of alchemy . . . 137 

Province of 138 

Origin of 137 

Rise of the Lavoisirian 

theory 139 

Nomenclature of . .139, 140 

Epochs of 140 

Chevreul 152-154 


General Index. 



Chick 171 

Chickasaws 75 

China 50, 51 

Chinese 45 

Chinese Sea 52 

Chloric 145 

Chlorides 145 

Chlorine 145 

Chlorates 145 

Chlorites 145 

Chlorous ! 145 

Chromatics 153 

Chromosphere 31 

Chronological order 175 

Chronology 40 

Natural units of time. . 40 
Julian Calendar . . . .42, 43 
Gregorian Calendar ... 43 

Church, St. John's 14 

Circuit 16, IIG, 127 

Circumference 54 

Circular 16 

Circular motion 16, 170 

Circumnavigation 63 

Circumnavigator 61 

Circumpolar 64 

Clay-schist 181 

Clavius 43 

Clement yill 164 

Cobalt 110 

Cochin-China 51 

Colchester 110 

College de France 132 

Color 153 

Colors 93, 153 

Columbus 47, 53-59, 68 

Combination battery 126 

Combining numbers 141 

Combining weights 143 

Combustible 138 

Combustion 138, 139, 143 

Comets 9, 35, 38 

Cometary 35 

Commerce. .113, 114, 131, 152 

Commutators 125, 127 

Compass-needle 121 

Component 33, 148 


Components . 150 

Concave mirror 102 

Condensation 157 

Conduction 101, 106 

Conductivity 101 

Conductors. . 86, 101, 133, 135 

Confusion, year of 43 

Congregation of Index. . 23 
Congregation of Inquisi- 
tion , 23 

Conquistador 72 

Conquistadores 74 

Constellation 37 

Constituent elements 140 

Constituents 83, 141, 148 

Convection 101 

Cook 48 

Copenhagen 112, 121 

Copernicus. .11, 13, 14-21, 85 
Copper, 101, 115, 116, 123, 

125, 126, 129, 152 

Corona 31 

Corpuscular 91 

Cos 168 

Cosmas Indicopleustes. . . 46 

Cosmogony 180 

Cosmographiss Introduc- 

tio 68 

Cortes, Hernan 74 

Cotyledons 166 

Coulomb Ill, 118, 120 

Coulombian theory. 111, 

120, 132, 133 
Counter - electro - motive 

force 129 

Coyba 71 

Cracow 14 

Creative power 172 

Creative purpose 172 

Creation 175, 180 

Creative omnipotence 181 

Crescent 21, 22 

Crown-glass 107 

Cracible 106 

Crystals... 95, 96, 98, 156, 161 

Crystallography 156 

Cuvier 165, 169, 172, 180 

General Index. 



Curved lines 132 

Currents... 101, 102, 112, 

121-123, 133 

Cylinder 130 

Cyrene 45 

Dalmatia 52 

Dalmatian 50 

Dalton 140 

Daniell's battery 115, 129 

Danish anatomist 177 

Danti 43 

Darien 71, 72 

Dark heat 107 

Darkness 94 

Dark Western Sea 55 

Davila 71 

Day, measure of 40 

D'Ailly 56 

Daubenton 173 

Decomposition . . .93, 138, 139 

Degree, measure of 41, 42 

Delauuy 178 

Delta 58 

Denmark 28 

DePiantis 163 

Depolarization 98 

Deposits 182 

Desault 171 

Descartes, 13, 78, 80, 83, 

85,99, 132, 133 

De Smet 76 

De Soto 75 

De Vico 38 

Dew 103 

Diameter 32, 89, 120 

Diamond 149 

Diathermanous 103, 107 

Differential Calculus 85 

Diffraction 92, 94, 98 

Diffusion 102 

Digestion 170 

Dilute 130 

Dimetric ] 57 

Dimorphism 156 

Dioscorides 162,163 

Direct motion 16 


Dispersion 92, 93 

Dissections 169 

Distances of planets 16, 19 

Diurnal motion 15 

Divergence 94 

Dolomite 152 

Donati 178 

Donna Juana 59 

Double refraction 95. 98 

Dourdan 153 

Dufay 133 

Dulong 108, 152 

Dumas 141,151 

Dunamis 125 

Dyeing 137, 153 

Dynamical electricity 112 

Dynamics 12, 20, 77 

Dynamos 113, 125, 127 

Ear 86, 87, 89, 169 

Earth, mass of the 28 

Earthquakes 178 

Easter 43 

Eccentrics 16 

Eclipses 10, 31 

Ecliptic 36, 41 

Ecliptic, obliquity of 36 

Ecumenical Council 23 

Egyptians 45, 137 

Egypt 175 

Eichhorn 23 

Elasticity 86, 109 

Elastic medium 86, 87 

Electric action 141 

Electricity.. 101, 110-130, 

134, 152 

Electric lamp 134, 135 

Electric light 113, 135 

Electric reservoir 133 

Electric spark 133 

Electric storms > 32 

Electro-chemical 133 

Electro-chemistry, 141, 151,152 

Electrodes 134, 135 

Electro-dynamic theory. . 121 

Electro-magnet 113 

Electro - magnetism, 112, 

122, 124 


General htdex. 


Electrometer 111, 118, 119 

Electro-motive force .... . 129 

Electro-motor 127, 131 

Electron 110 

Elementary atoms 140 

Elements... 138, 141, 148, 

149, 151, 155 

Elliptical spheroid 132 

Emanuel 65 

Emission 91, 95, -100 

Energy 113, 128, 129 

England 28, 122, 149 

English Protestants 60 

Enlightened doctor 150 

Epicyles 16 

Epigynous 166 

Epitome 181 

Equator 32, 41 

Equatorial current 59 

Equilibrium, laws of ... . 80 

Equinox 10, 43 

Equivalent 151 

Equivalent proportions . . 140 

Equivalent weights 152 

Eratosthenes 45 

Eresos 162 

Eruption 88,177 

Estremadura 75 

Ether.. 9, 91, 94, 100, 105, 151 

Ethereal currents 132 

Ethereal matter 133 

Em-ope. .11,51,82,116,137, 145 

European alchemy 137 

Eustachius 169 

Experimental system. . . . 177 

Exponents 84 

Ex Cathedra 23 

Extraordinary ray 95 

Fabio Colonna 177 

Fabricius of Acquapen- 

dente 170 

Fallopius 169 

Falling bodies, 79 

Faraday 112 

Father of history 83 

Ferari 83 


Ferdinand 68 

Fictitious centers. . c 16 

Fiery liquid 178 

Filings ,-, 132 

Fire-arms . ...... 90 

First condition of life. ... 182 

Fixed star , 40, 42 

Fizeau 98 

Floating bodies 80 

Flora 162 

Florida 60, 74, 75 

Florence 68, 133 

Florentine 56, 80 

Fluids 77, 120, 121 

Fluids, equilibrium. 80 

Fluids, properties of 80 

Fluorides 145 

Fluorine 145 

Fluor-spar 159 

Fluviatile 182 

Focus 97,102 

Fontenay-le-Comte 83 

Fossil 174-178 

Fossiliferons strata 177 

Foucault 134, 135 

Fourier 106 

Fracastoro 177 

France.. 28, 57,118, 122, 

133, 134, 145, 151 

Franciscan monastery 57 

Franciscan monk 149 

Franklin 110 

Frauenburg 14 

Free electricity 120 

Freiburg 68 

French Academy. 132, 133, 166 

Frescoes 176 

Fresnel 96,97 

Friction 86,100 

Frictional electricity Ill 

Fringes 94 

Frog legs Ill 

Fundamental forms 158 

Fusion 134,175 

Galen 168,169 

Galena 153,159 

General Index. 



Galileo 12,13,20-24, 

78-80, 85, 89, 176 

Galileo's dialogues 78 

Galle, Dr 27 

Galvanic... Ill, 112,114-117 
Galvanic battery. . . .112, 

114, 116, 129, 134 

Galvanic pair 114 

Galvanism.. 112, 114, 116, 

117, 176 

Ganglionic system 171 

Gardar 56 

Gaseous 30,33, 105 

Gaseous bodies 77 

Gassendi 35,80,90 

Gastric juice 170 

Genera Plantarum 165 

Generalization 142 

Generelli 178 

Genesis 180 

Genoa 52, 56 

Genoese seaman 60, 65 

Genuine chemistry 137 

Geography 45, 49 

Geological record 175 

Geologists 174 

Geology 174 

Geoffroy Salnt-Hillaire . . 159 

Geometrical classes 157 

Geometric curve 84 

Geometric superieure ... 84 

Geometry 13, 82-85 

Gerbert 82 

German 43 

Germany 122, 138 

Ghost of the Cape 66 

Gibbous 21 

Gilbert 110 

Glass 86,96, 103, 118 

Globe 61 

Globular 15 

Glucinum 152 

Glycerine 152 

Gneiss 181 

Gobi 51 

Gold 101, 102, 137, 148 

Golden Castile 71 


Good Hope, Cape of . ...53, 66 

Gramme 113, 131 

Gramme dynamo. 113, 126, 127 

Gramme machine 113, 131 

Granada 57 

Granite 181, 182 

Granite basin 182 

Grass 103 

Gravitation 15 

Gravity battery 115 

Great Britain 26 

Great circulation 170 

Great Swede 164 

Greece 110 

Greeks 162 

Greek 82, 125, 168 

Green 93 

Greenland 56 

Gregorian Calendar 43 

Gregorian Rule 44 

Gregory X 50 

Gregory XIII 43 

Grimaldi 81, 98 

Grove's battery 115, 130 

Guanahani 58 

Guatemala 75 

Guerra , . 74 

Guizot 23 

Gulf stream 60 

Gulf of Mexico 76 

Gum-lac 118 

Gunlijorn 56 

Gunpowder 149 

Halley's comet 38 

Harvey 170, 171 

Haiiy 156, 159, 160 

Heat. . .100-109, 134, 176, 179 

Helena 75 

Helena, St 66 

Helium 31 

Helix 124, 125 

Hennepin. 75 

Herschel 13, 25,43 

Hexagonal 158 

Hexagonal prism 158 

Hindustan 53 


General Index, 


Hipparclius 10, 16, 41 

Hippocrates 168 

Histoii-e Naturelle 173 

Hitchcock 176 

Hojeda 67, 74 

Homogeneous. . . .92, 155, 175 
Homogeneous structure. . 156 

Human bodj^ 169 

Human ear 87 

Human life 137 

Human mind 116 

Human voice 88 

Humboldt.. 48, 49, 67, 69, 

83, 176 

Humid way 152 

Huygliens 22 

Hydraulics 79 

Hydrodynamics 77 

Hydrogen 31, 129, 144 

Hydrogen line 34 

Hydrostatics 77 

Hylacomylus 68 

Hypogynous 166 

Ice 104, 105, 158 

Iceland 56 

Iceland-spar 95 

Igneous. 175 

Igneous fluidity 178 

Igneous ocean 178, 179 

Illuminating-gas 135 

Imago Mundi 56 

Incandescence 30 

Incandescent 31, 33 

Incandescent fluid 179 

lucas 72 

Incidence 88, 92, 95 

Incident 92, 102, 103 

Inclined plane 77, 79 

Incommensurability. . . 40, 42 
Index of refraction. ..... 93 

India 47, 51, 65 

Indian Ocean 52 

Indians 71, 75 

Indigo 93 

Induced cun-ent 124, 125 

Induction 126 


Inductive pbilosopher . . 177 

Inextinguishable fire 149 

Infinitesimal calculus ... 84 

Inner planets 18 

Inniger 85 

Insulated 120, 126 

Intensity 87, 88, 94 

Interference 92, 95, 97 

Interstellar 91 

Interstices 91 

Iodides 145 

Iodine 145 

Iron, S3, 110, 112, 124, 128, 132 

Iron line 33 

Irregularities of planets . . 26 

Irving 74 

Isabella 57-59 

Isometric 157 

Isomorphism 156 

Isthmus 71 

Italian.... 38, 43, 98, 109, 176 
Italy.. 39, 54, 133, 163, 176, 178 
Ivory 125 

Japan 51 

Jesuit 38, 85 

Jesuit missionaries 74 

Job 45 

Joliet 75 

Jovian system 20 

Julian Calendar 42, 43 

Julian Rule 43 

Jupiter 12, 19, 21.. 25, 38 

Jupiter, orbit of 36 

Jupsieu, Antoine Laurent 

de ICo 

Jussieu, Bernard 163, 105 

Kenrick, Archbishop 181 

Khorassan 51 

Kiangsi 51- 

Kinsai 51 

Kublai Khan 50 

La Cosa 47, 74 

Laboratory 135, 142, 143 

Laloub^re 85 

General Index. 



Lampblack 102,136,149 

Lancisi 171 

Land of Cinnamon 72 

Land of Fire 62 

Laplace 13 

La Rabida 57 

La Salle 75 

Latent heat 105 

Latitude 46, 59 

Lavoisier. . .139, 140, 142- 

146, 165 

Lavoisierian theory 139 

Law of constancy 160 

Laws of motion 15, 77 

Lead 129, 130,152 

Leap-year 43 

Leibnitz 23, 85 

Leon 74 

Leonardo da Yinci. . .176, 177 

Lepe 74 

Lesueur 85 

Le Verrier 13, 25-29 

Leyden jar 128 

Liber Harmonicorum 89 

Ligature 170 

Light 91-98,134 

Light-house system 97 

Lime 156,182 

Limestone 181 

Linnsean system 164, 172 

Linnaeus 163, 164 

Liquefaction 105 

Lisbon 65 

Lithologists 175 

Lithology 175 

Lodestone 110 

Log 59 

Longitude 27, 46, 55 

Longitudinal 90 

Lost planet 26, 36 

Louvain 47 

LuUy 150 

Lunar light 106 

Lydia 110 

Lyons 121 

Machine electricity 127 


Maco 85 

Mactan 63 

Magellan 47, 61-64 

Magellanic Clouds 64 

Magnesia 110 

Magnet 110, 120 

Magnetic attraction Ill 

Magnetic needle. .... .59, 112 

Magnesium 31, 33, 34 

Magnetic variations 59 

Magnetism. .110, 112, 115, 

120-122, 132 

Magnetized bar 122 

Magneto-electric machine 

113, 125 
Magneto-electricity. . .112, 124 

Majorca 150 

Malabar 65 

Malacca 61 

Malachite 152 

Malta 178 

Mains 98 

Malpighi 171 

Manual of physiology. . . . 171 

Map of the World 47 

Maraldi 39, 99 

Marco Polo 46, 49-53, 55 

Marine Fossils 178, 181 

Marquette 75 

Mar de Sargasso 59 

Mare tenebrosum 57 

Mariotte 81,109 

Mars 12, 10, 28, 38 

Mars, orbit of 28, 36 

Mathematics, science of . . 82 

Its branches 82 

How it originated 82 

Arithmetic 82 

Algebra 82 

Geometry 82 

Analytical Ueometry, 82, 83 
Descriptive Geometry . . 84 

Calculus 82 

Catholic mathemati- 
cians 84,85 

Maurcr 85 

Mechanical laws 179 


General Index. 


Mechanics 77, 128 

Science of 77 

Divisions of 77 

What the ancients knew 

of 77 

What the science owes 

to Galileo 78 

Laws of motion 77, 78 

Discoverer of the laws 

of motion 78 

Great Catholic names in 79-81 

Media 93 

Medicine 150, 153 

Medium 86-89, 92 

Meidinger's battery 115 

Melinda 66 

Melloni 106, 107, 136 

Melting point 104, 108 

Membre 75 

Mercator 47 

Mercmy..l9, 28, 35, 104, 

109, 148, 150 

Mercury, weight of 29 

Mercurial thermometer, 

104, 109 

Meridian 37, 41 

Mersenne. ...80, 81, 85, 89, 90 

Metallic lead 131 

Metallic lines 33 

Metallurgy 150 

Metals. .80, 101, 114, 115, 

137, 139, 148 

Metamorphosed 173 

Mexico 74 

Mca 96, 158 

Micaceous-schist 181 

Microscope , 171 

Mien 50 

Miletus 110 

MiJione 52, 53 

Milky way 64 

Mineral kingdom 155, 160 

Mineralogy 155, 161 

Mhage 66 

Mississippi 75 

Modena 1G9, 178 

Moigno 85 


Mollusca 172 

Mollusks 172 

Monge 84, 85, 99 

Mongol army 51 

Mongolian races 51 

Monoclinic. / 158 

Monte Bolca 178 

Montemartre 98 

Monometric ... 157 

Moon 21, 37, 179 

Moon, motion of 37 

Moon's distance 37, 38 

Mordants 137 

Morgagni 171 

Moro. .' 178 

Morse 170 

Motive force 118 

Mozambique 66 

Miiller 171, 178 

Multiple proportions 140 

Music 88 

Naddod 56 

Napo 78 

Napoleon 84 

Natal 66 

Natural affinities 166 

Natural m.ethod 165 

Naturalist 178 

Natural units 40 

Nautical astronomy 59 

Navigation 47 

Nebulae 9, 64 

Negative electi'odes 135 

Negative roots 84 

Neptune, distance of 27 

Neptunisis 174 

Nerves 171 

Nervous system 171 

Newton 87, 38 

New World. . . .47, 55, 56, 58 

Nice, council of 48 

Nickel 110 

Nina 58 

Niuive 175 

Nino 74 

Nitre 96 

General Index. 



Nitric acid 105, 115 

Nitrides 145 

Nitrogen 139,144,145 

Nobili 107,109, 136 

Nollet 85, 133 

NomeDclatTire ....140, 141, 144 

Non-conductor 120 

Non metallic 96 

North America 60 

North Pole 123 

Nucleus 30, 33 

Nutation 38 

Oblique rhombic prism , . 158 

Obtuse 97 

Octahedra 159 

Octave 90 

Oersted 112, 121 

Opaque 94 

Operators 115 

Oporto 61 

Optics, science of 91, 134 

What the ancients knew 

of 91 

Theories of 19 

Laws of reflection 92 

Refraction of light .... 92 
Dispersion of light. . .92, 93 
Interference of light. . 92, 94 
DiSerent kind of light 

waves , 94 

Diffraction of light. ..92, 94 

' Double refraction 95 

Polarization 92, 95-98 

What Catholics have 

done for 96,97, 98 

Orange 83 

Orbit^of planets. . . .18, 22, 36 

Ordinary ray 95 

Ordinary year 43 

Orellana 73 

Ores 137, 139, 152 

Organic beings 180, 182 

Organic chemistry. .. 141, 151 
Organic remains. 174, 177, 181 

Organic substances 144 

Organs 80, 91 


Orient. 50 

Orientals 52 

Orinoco 58, 74 

Oscillations 81, 86, 87 

Outer planet 18 

Oxidation 144 

Oxide of iron 144 

Oxidized .^ 143 

Oxygen 129-131, 144, 149 

Pacific 62, 63, 71 

Pacinotti 136 

Padua 169 

Paleontologists 175 

Paleontology 175 

Palermo 37 

Palos 57, 58 

Panama 71 

Pantaleon, St 78 

Pan -telegraph 133 

Parabolic 32 

Parallax ..28, 36 

Parallel of latitude 47 

Parallel wires 123 

Pare 171 

Paria 58 

Paris 80, 89,90, 126, 

142, 165, 166 

Paraia 106 

Parrots 60 

Pascal 80, 85, 109 

Patagonia 62 

Paul III 15 

Pavia 54 

Pegu „ . 51 

Pekin 50 

Pencils 98, 135, 136 

Pendulum 104 

Penitential psalms 24 

Percussion 78, 100 

Perez 57, 58 

Pergamus 168 

Peri2:vnous 166 

Periodicity 32 

Permanent magnet. ..125, 126 
Peroxide of lead. 129, 130, 131 
Pcrpendicuku- 92, 93, 158 


General Index, 


Persian 51 

Petit 108,152 

Petrified 178 

Petrified remains 178 

Perturbations of Jupiter.. 25 
Perturbations of Saturn . . 25 

Peru 72, 75 

Phases 12 

Philippine Islands 63 

Philosophy of Chemistry. 151 
Phlogistic theory. . . . 188, 139 

Phlogiston 138, 139, 143 

Phoenicians .... 45 

Phosphates 152 

Phosphides 145 

Phosphorus 145, 149 

Phosphurets 145 

Photosphere 30, 32 

Physico-chemical 152 

Physiological plan 172 

Physiological researches 

136, 171 
Physiological science, 168, 170 

Physiologist 171 

Physiology 168 

Piazzi 13, 36 

Picard 12. 13, 37, 38, 90 

Picardy 159 

Piccolomini 81 

Picture of the World. . .47, 56 

Pile-driver 128 

Pilot major 68 

Pinta 58 

Pinzon, Alonso 57 

Pinzon, Martin A 58, 60 

Pinzon, Vincent T. „ . . .58, 74 

Pisa 52, 80,164 

Pitch 87 

Pith-ball 118, 119 

Pizarro, Francisco. .72, 73, 75 

Pizarro, Gonzalo 72 

Planetary spaces 106 

Planetoid 37 

Planets 10,12, 16-19, 21 

Planispherium 47 

Plante 130,131 

Plants 103, 162, 181 


Planudes 82 

Platinum 115, 134 

Pliny, .......46, 110, 162-166 

Pneumatics. 77 

Polariscope 98 

Polarization ... .92, 93-98, 

100, 129 
Poles... 32, 121, 124, 126, 

131, 134 
Political institutions. ... 140 

Polytechnic school 84 

Pope 23, 24 

Port San Julian.. 62 

Porto Rico 74 

Portugal m, 61, 65-87 

Portuguese 46, 52, 55 

Positive electrodes 135 

Positive roots 84 

Precession 10 

Precipitating 130 

Pressed coke 136 

Primary 93 

Primary formation ... 160, 181 

Prime conductor 128 

Prism 93, 98, 158 

Prismatic colors 94 

Problem, grandest in As- 
tronomy 26 

Projections 84 

Ptolemy 10,12, 16,46,55 

Puissieux 85 

Pulmonary circulation ... 170 

Pure air 139 

Pure lead 130 

Pythagoras 89 

Quadrature of circle 83 

Quantitative analysis 148 

Quartz 96 

Quito 72, 73 

Radiant globe 32 

Radiant heat 102, 106 

Radiant orb 30 

Radiata 172 

Radiates 172 

Radiation 31, 102 

General Index. 



Eadius 133 

Rainbow 99 

Ranke 23 

Ratisbon 11 

Raumer ' 23 

Reaction 79, 128 

Rectangular prism 158 

Red 93 

Redi 171 

Red light 94, 107 

Red stars 34 

Reflection.. 88, 91, 93, 95, 

96, 99, 100 

Reflector 102 

Refraction.. 12, 91-93, 95, 

96, 98, 99, 100, 103 

Refrangibility 93, 98 

Refrangible 93 

Regiomontanus 11, 14, 85 

Regnault 108 

Regulator 135 

Reisch 85 

Relative motion 17 

Report 87 

Repulsion. ..Ill, 112, 119, 120 

Resistance 134 

Respiration 139 

Resultant 122 

Retort 144 

Retorts 135 

Retrograde motion 16 

Retrograding 18 

Returning wire 133 

Revelation 183 

Reversible, Gramme ma- 
chine 113, 127 

Revolutionary tribunal. . . 146 
Revolution of Jupiter.... 12, 38 

Revolution of Mars 12, 38 

Revolution of Sun 12, 38 

Revolution of Venus. . . .12, 38 

Rhombohedron 159 

Rhomb, oblique 47, 158 

Rlccati 85 

Rock-salt 103, 107 

Rocks 175, 181, 182 

Rocky envelope 175 


Rome 14 

Rotary 90 

Rotation 12, 15, 41,97 

Rotatory polarization 97 

Rubruquis 46 

Russia 28, 134 

Rustigielo 52 

Sacred Cosmogony 181 

Sailing, Middle-latitude . . 47 

Sailing, Parallel 47 

Sailing, Plane 47 

Sailing, Traverse 47 

Salerno 169 

Saltpetre 149 

Salt of Lead 129 

Sanchez 59 

Sanctorius 109 

San Lucar 62 

San Salvador 58 

Santa Cmz 47 

Santa Maria 58 

Sanuto 47 

Satellites of Saturn 22, 39 

Saturated solution 157 

Saturn 19, 25 

Saturnian system 22 

Saturn, rings of 22 

Schomberg 15 

Sea animals 182 

Sea chart 47 

Seasons, recurrence of . . . 42 

Sea- weed bank 59 

Secchi 13, 30, 32, 34 

Secondary battery 128, 131 

Secondary forms 158, 160 

Sedimentary rocks. . .175, 182 

Selenides 145 

Selenium 145 

Seleniurets 145 

Seville 68 

Sexual system 164 

Shock 86,133 

Sidereal day 40 

Sidereal year 42 

Siemens-Hal ske's battery 115 

Sierra de Quarcqua 71 

Silica 152 


General Index, 

Silicon 152 

Silver. .101, 102, 137, 148, 152 

Sines 98 

Sirius 34 

Sixtus IV 11 

Skeleton 139, 172 

Slave market 66 

Snow crystals 157 

Soap manufacture 152 

Society of Jesus 80, 76 

Sodium 31,33 

Sodium line 33, 34 

Solar day 40 

Solar spectrum . . 38 

Solar year 42, 44 

Solid bodies 77 

Somersetshire 149 

Song dynasty 51 

Sorignet 178, 181 

Sosignes 42 

Soul of nature 150 

Sound 83-90 

Sound waves 86-88 

South America. .58, 62, 72, 73 

Southern China 51 

Southern hemisphere 64 

Southern route 65 

Southern sky 64 

Spain 54, 57,61, 72, 75 

Spaniards 71 

Spanish Catholics 60, 71 

Spanish cavaliers 74 

Spanish government 62 

Spanish rulers 56 

Spada 178 

Specific capacity 108 

Specific heat 104, 108 

Specific heats 152 

Spectra of stars 84 

Spectroscope 33 

Spectrum 38, 98 

Spectrum analysis 18, 33 

Speculative chemists 148 

Spice Islands 61 

Spittler 23 

Spun glass 118 

Square prism 158 


Stahl 138 

Stagirite 168 

Standard unit 41 

Stars 9, 33, 34 

Statical electricity. . .110, 

120, 125 

Statics 77 

St. Domingo 71 

Steam 105, 109, 131 

Stearine candles 158 

St. Martin Sous-Beaune. . 109 
Storage-battery. .118, 128-181 
Stoi'age of electricity. . . . 127 

Steno, Nicolaus 177 

Storing. .. 118 

Stormy Cape 66 

Stowaway 71 

Strabo 46 

Strata 175, 181 

Stratified rocks 175 

Stretching weight 89 

Strings 88-90 

Strontium 33 

Substitutions 151 

Sulfure parailelique 161 

Sulphates 145 

Sulphate of copper 158 

Sulphate of lead 131 

Sulphides 145 

Sulphites 145 

Sulphurets 145, 152 

Sulphur.... 144, 148, 149, 

150, 157, 158 

Sulphuric 145 

Sulphuric acid 115, 180 

Sulphurous 145 

Sun.... 9, 10, 16, 30, 100, 179 

Sun, body of 30 

Sun, composition of . . . , 30 

Sun-spots, origin of 32 

Suresnes 98 

Symbols 83, 150 

System, modern 12. 14 

System, old 10,15 

Tables of sun 10,38 

Tangent 37 

General Index, 



Tangents 84 

Tar 136 

Tartar..... 50 

Taurus 37 

Teheran 51 

Telegraph 113,133,170 

Telegraph lines 133 

Telescope 13, 15,20-32 

Telescopic stars 34 

Temperature.. 30, 31, 87, 

104, 136 

Tempests 62 

Temporary magnet 115 

Tension 88-90, 128 

Tenuous 31 

Terrestrial creation 175 

Terrestrial radiation 101 

Terrestrial species 182 

Tertiary formations 181 

Thales 110 

Theatine monk 38 

Theophrastus 162 

Theory of oxygen 139, 

140, 143, 144 

Thermal springs 178 

Thermo-electric pile.. 107, 136 

Thermometer . ...104, 105-109 

Thermotics, science of .. . 100 

Hypotheses of heat .... 100 

Properties of heat 100 

Great Catholic names 

in 106-109 

Thibet 50 

Thinae 54 

Thorn 14 

Tides 179 

Tierra del Fuego 63 

Timbre 87 

Time 40-43 

Tin 143 

Tobacco 146 

Tone 87,88 

Toothed wheel 98 

Torricelli 79, 80 

Torsion-balance Ill, 118 

Toscanelli 47, 56, 59 

Tourmaline 96 


Transforming 128 

Transit 35 

Transitional state 141 

Transition strata 181 

Translation, motion of . . . 15 

Transmutability 148 

Transmutation 137 

Transmission 87, 93, 106 

Transmitted 92, 102 

Transverse 90, 91 

Trianon 165 

Triclinic 158 

Trigonometry 10, 47 

Trimetric 157 

Tropical vegetables 55 

Tropical year ,10, 40-44 

Tropics 59 

Tsiampa 51 

Tulasue, Charles 166, 167 

Tulasne, Louis Rene.. 166, 167 

Tuscan 21 

Types 34 

Ultimate particles 121, 140 

Undulations 86,97 

Undulatory theory. . ..91, 

95, 96, 97, 100 

Uniaxial 96 

United States 60, 76 

University of Pisa 164 

Unsilvered glass 95 

Unstained glass 107 

Unstratified rocks 175, 177 

Unvital air 139 

Uranus 35-37 

Vacuum 87, 108 

Valladolid 54 

Vallisneri 178 

Valves 170 

Van Helmont 150 

Vapor 103, 151 

Vaporization 157 

Variation chart 47 

Variation, line of no 59 

Vasco da Gama 47, 65-67 

Vega 34 


General Index. 


Vegetable fungi 166 

Vegetable kingdom. .162, 163 

Veins 170, 171 

Venice 50-52, 56 

Venus 12, 19, 21, 38 

Vernal equinox 43 

Verona 177 

Vertebrata 173 

Vertebrates 172 

Vesalius 169 

Vespucci 47, 65, 67-69 

Vibrations 86-90, 94, 100 

Victoria 63 

Vidal, Dr 166 

Viete 83, 85 

Violet 93, 94 

Violin 87 

Viscosity 30 

Vistula 14 

Vital action 101 

Vital air 139 

Viviani 80 

Volatile 151 

Volcanic eruptions 88 

Volcanic fires. 62 

Volcanoes 178 

Volta. .112, 114, 116, 117, 176 

Voltaic arc 134 

Voltaic current 112 

Voltaic pile 112, 116 

Voltaism 112 

Vortical motion 32 


Vortices 132 

Vulcanists 174 

Water.. 86, 101. 104, 105, 
116, 129, 131, 150, 157, 176 

Wax 134 

Weight of planets. . . 29 

Western Islands 61 

Western Ocean 71 

Wlieweli 23,24, 160, 

165, 172 

White light 93, 98 

White stars. .. , 34 

Williwaws 62 

Wood-spirit 151 

World-apple 47 

Ximenes 61, 74 

Yang-tchow 51 

Yellow 34, 93 

Yellow stars 34 

Yucatan 74, 75 

Yunnan 50 

Zanzibar 66 

Zinc 115, 116, 123, 129 

Zodiac 10 

Zodiacal light 31 

Zoological science 173 

Zoology 171-173 

Zulu 66 


6" 559